Over the recent Adha holiday in Egypt, there were about 300 reported cases of sexual harassment in public spaces against women, varying from verbal taunts to assaults.
Last year over the Septemeber holiday Fitr, 150 men and boys were arrested for a harassing spree in the streets of Mohandeseen in Cairo. A few of the men who assaulted girls and cut their clothes were taken to court and one was sentenced to a year in jail.
While the sexual harassment of women in public spaces in Egypt is a major problem and one which the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights brought to light last year, the problem is increasingly becoming associated with feast holidays. The LA Times reports that contributing factors may be that thousands of people enjoy spending their free time outdoors, younger generations face less-strict scrutiny from their parents during feasts, and police security is usually softer than it is throughout the rest of the year.
In good news, women’s rights groups have worked with Georgette Kellini, a Member of Parliament for the ruling National Democratic Party, to prepare a draft law for sexual harassment that Kellini will introduce in the next session. The new law would legally define the harassment and it would include a number of deterring penalties for perpetrators. Hopefully it will pass and help people realize sexual harassment is unacceptable, including during holidays!