An Egyptian policewoman in the Metro (Photo: Reem Gehad)
Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel-Ghafar has ordered policewomen to increase their public presence during Eid Al-Fitr celebrations to combat sexual harassment, Police General Abu Bakr Abdel-Karim, the minister's aide for public relations and media, has said.
Abu Bakr urged women to report sexual harassers to police, during a phone interview with Al-Mehawar TV channel on Thursday.
A growing problem in Egypt in the past 10 years, sexual harassment increases during the Eid season.
Eid Al-Fitr will start in Egypt on Friday and will continue for another two days.
An Anti-Harassment law was adopted in 2014. It imposes jail terms of no less than six months and/or fines of LE3,000 to LE5,000 ($419 to 700) on those who are found guilty of sexual harassment in public or private areas. Harassment is defined as gestures or words or any modern means of communication, or any other action that carries sexual or pornographic hints.
Out of hundreds of women surveyed, more than 99 percent across seven of the country's 27 governorates reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, ranging from minor harassment to rape, according to an April 2013 report by the United Nations along with Egypt's Demographic Centre and the National Planning Institute.