For an article I am currently writing I was searching for facts and figures on sexual harassment in Egypt. I came across a 2013 UN Women report that was released recently.
I think it’s fairly new research, as I haven’t seen much reporting on it.
As expected, the report is collection of sad statistics, starting with the fact that 99,3% of female respondents claim to have faced sexual harassment. 49,2% of the victims says it happens daily, 19,2% weekly, 7,3% monthly and for only 3,4% it was a single event.
Around 60% of the victims was harassed on the beach, 81,8% in public transport, 89,3% on the street and 39,2% via their mobile phone. In 59,5% of the cases the woman was groped, 87,9% got whistled at or got some other form of verbal abuse. 29,3% of the female respondents report harassment by someone who flashed their genitals at them, or someone who had threatened to do so.
Sadly, only 63% of the women that were questioned states that sexual harassment is not their fault. A little over 75% of the respondents was wearing ‘conservative’ clothes (loose-fitting clothes that either mostly or fully hide the female body shape) and no make-up, 18,7% wore conservative clothes and make-up and only 2% described themselves as dressed provocatively (whilst wearing make-up, dressing provocatively without wearing any make-up apparently never occurs).
The men that were questioned in the survey think ‘attractive’ women that do not wear a head scarf get harassed the most (49,1%), while according to them only 2% of the women that get hassled wear a niqaab (a veil that covers the entire face, except for the eyes).
Body parts that get touched the most are breasts (54,5%) and buttocks/hips (13,5%). 72,6% of the male respondents think the reason women get harassed is ‘inappropriate’ clothing, 47,2% claims it is because of her physical appearance and make-up and 30,1 percent claims ‘the girl feels happy when harassed’ (!). 12,4% thinks boredom is the main reason for harassment.
43% of women that got harassed in the past is afraid to go back out on street. 82,6% state they no longer feel safe on the street and because of that 7,6% carry ‘self defense items’. Of the women who fight their harasser 42% hits him, 53% uses a pin (used for their head scarf) and 44% uses a taser (which are illegal in Egypt, but sold on just about every street corner).
In 40% of the cases bystanders did nothing, 11% states passers-by pretended not to notice, 33,6% think nobody really did notice and 12% of the time a bystander yelled at the perpetraitor (in 4,5% of the cases a women did the yelling, 7,5% of the time it was a man).
When asked whether it would help to get the police involved over 93% of women answered ‘no’. 8,7% added they feared to also get harassed by the police officers. In a little more than 5 percent of the cases that the police got involved in this actually happened. 23,3% of the female respondents thinks there are no penalties for sexual harassment (there are, but because so few women report incidents barely anyone knows about this). 34,6% of the women do not report the incident because they fear for their reputation and 10,2% is afraid their parents won’t believe them.
You can view the report here.