CAIRO: A total of 141 police reports were issued on sexual harassment incidents during Eid al-Fitr 2015, according to the National Council for Woman (NCW.)
“A total of 136 verbal and five physical harassment incidents were reported,” said NCW, noting that most of the girls dropped the reports.
NCW said it received 50 verbal harassment reports in Cairo and one physical harassment report on Sunday.
Moreover, Egyptian grassroots initiative “I Saw Harassment” published its final report on the sexual harassment during Eid al-Fitr; it stated that the rates of the harassment were higher than the feats of the last few years.
The initiative made a comparison between the harassment incidents it was able to prevent during Eid al-Fitr of 2014 and 2015.
The comparison outputs came as follows;the first day of Eid al-Fitr2014 did not witness any verbal harassment incidents, but witnessed 13 physical and three mass harassment incidents, compared to 2015’s first day that witnessed 33 verbal, 44 physical and two mass harassment incidents.
For the second day of 2014’sEid al-Fitr, no verbal harassment was reported yet there were 12 physical and three mass harassment incidents. On the other hand, 2015’s second day of Eid al-Fitr witnessed 77 verbal, 28 physical but no mass harassment incidents.
Also the third day of 2014’s feast did not witness any verbal nor mass harassment incidents but four verbal. The same day of 2015’s feast witnessed 21 verbal, 18 physical but no mass sexual harassment incidents.
The initiative shed light on the government’s efforts to secure women and prevent such incidents by deploying policewomen, increasing the number of security forces in the downtown Cairo area and launching a wide campaign announcing the Ministry of Interior’s arrangements to confront harassers.
“These efforts were not able to encourage women to break the social stigma and report sexual harassment incidents, as there is no guarantee that their data will not be leaked or that there would be a mechanism to support them,” said the initiative.
A report released by the United Nations in June 2013 calculated that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women had been sexually harassed, either verbally or physically.
The punishment for sexual harassers was toughened under amendments adopted by former interim President Adly Mansour, and assaulters now face up to five years in prison.
Two defendants were sentenced in August 2014 to life in prison over charges of mob sexual assault and attempted murder in Tahrir Square that occurred in early June, while another was sentenced to 20 years in prison.