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

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.