Egyptian women fight harassment

Egypt's women take lessons in martial arts to defend themselves from sexual harassment.

    Egypt's Centre for Women's Rights conducted a survey last year which revealed that 93 per cent of Egyptian women have endured harassment of some sort at least once.

    For some, what should be a leisurely stroll through the streets of Cairo, Egypt's capital, has become more like a gauntlet run.

    Campaigners say the male-dominated society leaves women feeling vulnerable and unprotected by traditional forces like the police.

    The problem has become so acute that the government is now considering making the abuse a criminal offence.

    Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's Amr el-Khaky meets a group of women in Cairo who are taking the fight in their own hands: they are taking lessons in karate.

    Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian writer and activist, says that almost every woman she knows has been sexually harassed or groped.

    "It is no exaggeration to say this is an epidemic," she says.

    "This is much more than sexual frustration.

    "This is about power, about humiliation, about the way women have been portrayed, not just in the media but also through religious sermons.

     "… The respect that Islam gives to women ... is missing from a lot of religious discourse in Egypt."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.