CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior is going to launch extensive campaigns in coordination with NGOs and human rights organizations to end sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women, head of combat violent crimes against women department Ayman Saafan said in a statements Wednesday.
He said his department will focus more on crowded places that were previously reported to have similar accidents and they will distribute Special Forces throughout Egypt’s streets.
The department of combating violent crimes against women was recently added to the Ministry of Interior to protect women in the streets, especially after the repeated harassment accidents that happened recently.
Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim issued a new decision to establish police stations in different governorates in charge only of crimes and cases of violence against women, Al-Tahrir newspaper reported in June. Ibrahim said in a statement that these stations and its special forces will exist in all crowded areas, including celebrations, festivals, sports matches, and similar occasions.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, along with the National Council for Women, launched the National Strategy to Prevent Violence against Women earlier this month.
Mahlab said during the launching conference that the state is responsible for securing women’s rights and should be equal to men. “We are committed to doing our job and to provide women with suitable political representation and a safe life free of all forms of violence,” Mahlab said.
During another conference by Nazra for Feminist Studies, shortly after the Tahrir Square mob harassment accident on June 8, some activists said that maybe the “awful” incident needed to happen to realize that there is a real crisis. Representatives from different NGOs assured that the situation has worsened recently and the state needs work on a real strategy.
Salma Al-Tarzy from Power Against Harassment said during the conference that the state has been dealing with these accidents as individual cases, which helped increase the phenomenon, and the situation become worse.
Safe schools and universities project manger Ahmed Hegab in Harassmap told The Cairo Post that the Ministry of Interior actually held several meetings with a number of NGOs to discuss effective mechanisms and methods to apply on society according to their previous experience.
He said the human rights section in the ministry is currently working with a good number of NGOs and hope to reach good results if they coordinate with organizations that also have real experience with previous situations. “We have no problem working with any governmental entity, since it does consider their cooperation a positive move to start working on the crisis. We do not know if any other NGOs refused to coordinate with them.”