Sexual Attacks on Women in Egypt

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A woman protester waves the victory sign during clashes with military police near Tahrir Square.

A woman protester waves the victory sign during clashes with military police near Tahrir Square.

By Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Egypt researcher

Almost every girl and woman – regardless of age, social status or choice of attire – who has walked the streets or taken public transport in Cairo, has experienced some form of verbal or physical sexual harassment.

This isn’t new. For years, Egyptian women’s rights activists and others have called on the authorities to recognize the seriousness of the problem.

There needs to be a fundamental shift in institutionalized attitudes that discriminate against women.

The Egyptian authorities must introduce legal reforms, prosecute perpetrators and address root causes, because the plight of women who have experienced sexual violence has been ignored.

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