Monday, October 06, 2008

Egypt: Sexual assaults mar Eid - Again. Still.

Happy Eid
Unless you happen to be a woman in Egypt, that is. Then it's happy sexual assault day. (But then again, pretty much every day is happy sexual assault day if you're a woman in Egypt.) Oh yeah, Islam honors women and the veil guards your modesty, that's right.

The Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan was once again marred by sexual harassment in the streets of Cairo when Egyptian police arrested dozens of young men suspected of sexually assaulting women in the streets, according to a local newspaper.

The independent al-Masry al-Youm reported that 150 young men assaulted female passers-by on Gamaat al-Duwal al-Arabiya street in the upper-class neighborhood of Mohandeseen. One woman’s clothes were ripped off her body and another had her veil torn, the newspaper reported. Police arrested 38 suspects, between 15 and 22, and questioned three of the female victims.

A report in July by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights found that almost half of Egyptian women are sexually harassed on a daily basis while almost two-thirds of Egyptian men -- 62 percent -- admitted to harassing women, including those wearing Islamic headscarves. But only 12 percent of women said they filed a complaint.