CAIRO: More than 200 volunteers from a number of NGOs and civic groups have announced they will gather in the streets during the Eid al-Adha holiday to confront sexual harassers.
Hatem Shaaban from the “Arrest the Harasser” initiative told Youm7 that they announced a campaign titled “Safe Eid for Girls Free of Harassment” to monitor the streets during the holiday.
Also, the “Country Free of Sexual Harassment” campaign announced in a Friday statement it had about 64 volunteers and would divide them into six groups to spread out into potential problem areas.
The “I Saw harassment” campaign said it considered Downtown Cairo an “infested area,” as it is traditionally a hotspot for sexual attacks during Eid al-Adha and other holidays.
Ihab Makhlouf, the head of the Public Administration to Combat Violence Against Women, told Youm7 Friday they had deployed forces in public places, including parks, cinemas and areas near Nile boats.
Egypt has developed a reputation for high levels of street harassment. A Reuters poll released in November 2014 listed Egypt as the worst Arab country in which to be a woman. Egyptian women who report harassment are often judged for being unaccompanied or “inappropriately dressed.” This spring, a female student at Cairo University was harassed by a group of students who videotaped the encounter after she wore a long-sleeved pink sweater and black leggings. She was mocked by TV presenters as having dressed like a “belly dancer” who invited the attack.
Following the inauguration of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in June, a video of a brutal attack on a woman during inauguration celebrations in Tahrir Square went viral, prompting promises by the president to combat the issue and to increase security for women.