Thursday, December 17, 2009

Arab Women Endure Harassment

16 December - Egypt's deputy parliament speaker has appealed for the law to protect women from sexual harassment on the streets, saying it has gone beyond all limits with the latest harassment of children.

Ms Zeinab Radwan said there must be a law to protect Egyptian society from collapse, indicating that persistent attacks on Egyptian women, with sexual harassment on the streets, has to stop.

Local reports said women have become less visible in the streets and have gone to hide in the comfort of their homes as harassment takes its toll on the streets in Arab state.

The regional conference in Cairo called to tackle the taboo topic said issues around harassment went unchecked as victims of the harassment rarely report the problem to the authorities.

The conference statement said the harassment including verbal abuse has become a daily experience women in the Arab world regardless of their attire.

“With more and more women in schools, the workplace and politics, roles have changed but often traditional attitudes have not,” statement said.

Women's rights groups in Egypt have long campaigned against sexual harassment and assault in Cairo, accusing police of ignoring the phenomenon.

According to local rights activists, the convictions are relatively rare in Egypt, which does not have a law defining sexual harassment, but a court in 2008 sentenced a man to three years in jail for groping a woman.

According to the Egyptian Centre for Women's Right, which organised the conference, 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt had experienced sexual harassment.

Source:  Afrol News

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