Sexual Harassment in Egypt (Hijab won’t stop it)

Almost half of Egyptian women are sexually harassed on a daily basis with more than half of Egyptian men admitting lewd behaviour, the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights said on Thursday.

The group polled 2,020 people — including men and foreign women — in Cairo, and the centre’s director, Nihad Abul Qomsan, said that the figures showed harassment was on the rise.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women said they had been harassed at some point, while 46 percent of Egyptian women and 52 percent of foreign women said they were harassed daily.

Most women said they were harassed in the street or on public transport, with harassment defined as “any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which makes women feel uneasy and gives them a feeling of insecurity.”

Abul Qomsan said that almost two-thirds of Egyptian men — 62 percent — admitted harassing women, including those wearing Islamic headscarves.

“This shows that the belief that harassment is linked to women who wear indecent clothing is false,” she said, condemning the fact that in the deeply religious country women often feel responsible despite being victims.

The centre said that last year only 12 percent of women went to the police with a harassment complaint.

In 2006, women’s rights activists angrily spoke out against what they called the authorities’ acceptance of sexual harassment against women, after a mob of men openly molested women in central Cairo.

The interior ministry said it did not receive any formal complaints and has never admitted any mass harassment occurred despite the incident being widely reported in the press and some bloggers posting footage on the Internet.

Advertisements

Saudi wife arrested after going for an illegal drive

A woman has been arrested for breaking Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers.

She was stopped by a police patrol after driving six miles to collect her husband near their home in the town of Buraida.

As her ‘legal guardian’ he had to sign a declaration that he would not let his wife drive again.

Scroll down for more

Saudi women look at a new car

Saudi women look under the bonnet of a new car at a showroom in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where women sell cars to female buyers. Although women are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia, they can own cars

It is not yet known if she has been released or if she faces legal action.

Saudi Arabia is the only country that forbids women from driving.

The ban is based on religious rulings from clerics who say it is un-Islamic.

Civil rights activists in the country have begun lobbying the government to lift the ban.