Can Egypt face up to its sexual assault problem?

Egypt may finally face its sexual assault problem (via GlobalPost)

At first, the blurry video of a celebration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, captured by an onlooker’s cellphone, is difficult to make out. Fireworks explode nearby as the shaky camera captures a crowd of men, jostling and shouting. Then, flashes of a…


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“Sexual Assault Cases Rampant in Egypt”

3 Responses

  1. It’s inappropriate to raise the US as a supposedly clever retort in an obnoxious and ignorant way. (As usual on this blog, the US it to blame, the Arabs meanwhile, are not chastised for dealing themselves with the political, demographic (bubble) and sectarian mess they have largely created in defiance of human rights developments over the past 50 years. No-one will stop them from kicking out US influence if they institute genuine human rights, civil rights and political democracies of their own volition.) The situation for women in the Arab world is regressing from where it was in the 1970s. This is not the big, bad US-wolf. This is Arab men behaving like animals…. Women are treated like chattel, they cannot work, they are pressured to have large families to boost their spouse’s ego, or they do so because it is how they gain some familial influence and respect in lieu of being educated and having independence, such as a career. Thus more overpopulation, thus more youth unemployment and dissatisfaction, etc.
    Sexual harassment, high rates of female genital cutting and a surge in violence and Islamist feeling after the Arab Spring uprisings have made Egypt the worst country in the Arab world to be a woman, a poll of gender experts showed on Tuesday. …Iraq ranked second-worst after Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. Comoros, where women hold 20 percent of ministerial positions and where wives generally keep land or the home after divorce, came out on top, followed by Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar. …A U.N. report on women in April said 99.3 percent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment in Egypt, which some analysts say reflects a general rise in violence in Egyptian society over the past half-decade. Human Rights Watch reported that 91 women were raped or sexually assaulted in public in Tahrir Square in June as anti-Mursi protests heated up. … Respondents also cited high rates of forced marriage and trafficking. …Female genital mutilation is endemic in Egypt, where 91 percent of women and girls – 27.2 million in all – are subjected to cutting, according to UNICEF. Only Djibouti has a higher rate, with 93 percent of women and girls cut. … n Iraq, women’s freedoms have regressed since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the poll showed. … Hundreds of thousands of women displaced internally and across borders are vulnerable to trafficking, kidnapping and rape, the U.N. refugee agency says. … Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system forbids women from working, travelling abroad, opening a bank account or enrolling in higher education without permission from a male relative.

    “Saudi society is a patriarchal society and all its laws pertain to the rights of men,” said a Saudi legal advisor who defends victims of domestic abuse. “The woman is considered second class.” Syria’s civil war has had a devastating impact on women at home and in refugee camps across borders, where they are vulnerable to trafficking, forced and child marriage and sexual violence, experts said….Along with Syria, all Arab League member states except Somalia and Sudan have signed or ratified CEDAW. In the absence of full statehood recognition for the Palestinian territories, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas symbolically endorsed the convention on behalf of both the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority.
    But protection offered by CEDAW is superficial, experts said. Signatories may raise reservations against any article that contradicts sharia (Islamic law), a country’s family code, personal status laws or any piece of national legislation.
    See: (Reuters, November 12, 2013)

  2. Don’t try to change the topic, Dave.

    Glib remarks won’t make this problem go away, and as someone who has lived in the Middle East, I can confirm that intolerance and sexual assault on women are serious problems. There’s more to the world than your United States. The sooner the Middle East faces up to its primitive attitudes towards women, the better.

    Please stick to the topic.

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