Unreported World examines the increase in sexual assaults and harassment in Egypt.

Unreported World examines the increase in sexual assaults and harassment in Egypt.

The programme reveals claims that young men are being paid to carry out horrendous mob attacks on women. It is claimed that this started under the Mubarak regime and it is suspected by some to still continue.

Women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution but are now often fearful of taking part in the regular public demonstrations.

Sexual harassment is not a new problem in Egypt. In a 2010 United Nations survey, more than 80 per cent of women surveyed said they’d been sexually harassed.

But there are signs that the problem has got worse with the breakdown of public order since the revolution. Reports of mob sex attacks are on the increase.

Reporter Ramita Navai and director Dimitri Collingridge meet a young woman who has recently survived such an attack. Nihal was out at a protest in Tahrir Square with four other women. She managed to escape but her friend suffered an ordeal that is typical of these attacks.

She was stripped naked and dozens of men raped her with their hands. Nihal’s friend sustained internal injuries and couldn’t walk for a week. She has since fled Egypt. Nihal too was severely traumatised.

Nihal has become involved in Harassmap, an anti-sexual harassment movement that charts mob attacks and allows women to log sexual harassment. In the last two years the team has received more than 900 reports from women across the country.

Despite the publicity on the issue, the women themselves are worried about speaking about their personal experiences. It’s a taboo subject and many of them are even afraid to tell their parents what they’ve suffered.

Even when women decide to go to the police, they say they rarely receive help. Twenty-one-year-old student Dina has been the victim of several assaults. She claims that on one occasion she managed to alert a nearby police officer, but that he refused to help, telling her the attack was her fault because she was wearing the wrong clothes.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Nihal,

    My name is Omniya Baghdadi, an Egyptian woman living in Brisbane, Australia. I received an email whilst at work regarding an International Women’s Rights event taking place in Bsirbane and was inspired to be the voice of Egyptian women…

    I have been deeply saddened by the numerous (..numerous..how sad that I use such a word) attacks taking place against the gems in Egyptian society, women. Without thinking twice, I responded to the organisers of this event and requested for a spot to speak. I then commenced searching the web, looking for female activists in Egypt.

    Therefore, I would love to tell the stories of Egyptian women that need to be heard. Would you like to put together a story for me to read out? These are stories definitely worth telling. I am happy to assist in ANY way possible..

    p.s: If time permits, I would also like to read it prior to this event..at another public speaking event taking place next week.

    Lots of love and respect,
    Omniya el Baghdadi

  2. Dear Omniya,

    i would be more than happy to write up something with you 🙂 this is my email nszaghloul@gmail.com, please email me of what you have in mind, any ideas how you want to address this.

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