What Happens When a Woman is Harassed?

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Absolutely nothing. After the 2011 revolution, the subject of sexual harassment has been heavily discussed and debated. Young people came out and criticized those who grope, harass and profit off the silence of young women. Others have said that it is up to ladies to dress more modestly, but this is not even an argument to be used. It is up to men to keep their hands to themselves and when they do not, they have to be punished for it.

If a woman harasses a man, then she should be treated the same way…But we all know that the latter rarely happens, if at all.

I’d like to remind you of the troubling statistic that appeared in a UN report in 2013: Nine out of ten Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual assault, whether verbal or physical. This is unacceptable. So how will we fight it? Through laws, right? Well, Adly Mansour, the interim president who ruled after the removal of the Morsi regime, issued a decree stating that sexual harassment is now a crime punishable by five years in jail.

Is that enough? Definitely not. The legislative branch of government did its job. It passed the law. But where is the executive branch of the government? There needs to be a clear plan of execution that will reveal how to catch harassers and monitor them not only in big cities, but also in the outskirts of these cities, as well as the rural areas all over Egypt.

If harassment is part of the culture, then it has to be demonized and taken action against. Obviously, the #MeToo movement has revealed that this subject is a global one, but it should also be our priority here to fight for the safety of Egyptian women as they are an integral part of our society, just like men.

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