Downtown Cairo declared “sexual harassment hotspot”: I Saw Harassment Initiative
Sexual harassment - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Amid preparations meant to counter harassment incidents during Eid al-Adha, an anti-sexual harassment group declared downtown Cairo as a “sexual harassment spot.”

In a Wednesday statement, “I Saw Harassment” initiative set a plan to provide women with “safe” celebrations during the forthcoming Islamic feast known as Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, in anticipation of possible recurrences of the phenomenon during major holidays and mass celebrations.

In its statement, it announced downtown Cairo as an “area infected by sexual harassment crimes and assaults targeting women and ladies.”

Within its plan, the initiative will deploy patrols and volunteers stationed in different areas in Cairo and Kafr el-Sheikh governorate in the Nile Delta during the four days of the feast that starts October 4.

Emergency numbers created by the Ministry of Interior and a hotline to the initiative were provided to women who will go out to celebrate the feast, so that they can cooperate with security agencies to report any harassment incidents during these days.

“The harasser is not on our agenda, we only care for the women by trying to provide a safe space for them to move freely, as well as help the victims in legal procedures against harassers,” said Fathi Fareed, the Spokesperson for the I Saw Harassment initiative.

Fareed added to The Cairo Post Wednesday that the law that was adopted under former President Adly Mansour “is not enough due to practices by some security officials who are still treating the women who were subjected to harassment as perpetrators and not victims.”

As a result, many victims avoid suing the harassers because they do not trust security investigations.

The newly adopted law was widely welcomed by feminist groups and human rights organizations after it contained, for the first time in the history of Egyptian legislation, the word “harassment.”

Under the law, a number of harassers were sent to trials, some of them received sentences up to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting women in different situations.

One of the recent mob sexual assaults that caused huge fury, took place during the celebrations of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s inauguration early June in Tahrir Square.

“I Saw Harassment” is a pressure group that has been active since two years. It spots and documents sexual harassment crimes occur against women. It defines itself as a body that provides public awareness, spreads the concepts of equality and works to renounce violence.

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