CAIRO: Many female police officers were deployed to the streets on the New Year’s Eve to secure celebrations and prevent any harassment attempts against women revelers.
The officers have stationed at different areas in Downtown Cairo, squares, public gardens and cinemas. Passersbys stopped and took selfie pictures with the officers, who distributed flowers on children.
Cairenes are not accustomed to see policewomen in streets; the officers’ deployment began after a police unit was launched to combat violence against women.
The unit was announced following a violent mob harassment attack that occurred during Tahrir Square celebrations to the inauguration of the President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in May 2014.
During the same year, Egypt’s Cabinet passed a sexual harassment law to toughen the penalty and broaden the definition of sexual harassment.
Since then, policewomen deployed in streets on several public occasions including feasts and elections, during which women are more vulnerable to such abuses due to masses.
More than 97 percent of women who have been sexually harassed do not report the incident to authorities to avoid a scandal, according to a 2014 study by HarassMap.
A report released by the United Nations in June 2013 calculated that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women had been sexually harassed.