Interior ministry to install cameras in Cairo to detect sexual harassment

Ahram Online, Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

After the launching of the National Women Council's campaign against sexual harassment, Egypt's Ministry of Interior plans to install cameras in Cairo streets

 a woman crossing the street
An Egyptian youth, trailed by his friends, grabs a woman crossing the street with her friends in Cairo (Photo: AP)

The Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday that surveillance cameras will be installed in streets and squares in Cairo to detect incidents of sexual harassment.

This step is to catch the harassers and display their photos on public television and the Internet, explained a ministry representative.

This statement came after the National Women Council started a national campaign, "Patrols Against Sexual Harassment," in August 2012 to combat sexual harassment in Cairo, specifically during Eid. This decision is to fight the wide-spread harassment increase.

The council addressed the Ministry of Endowments and the Coptic Church to include this subject in Friday prayer sermons and Sunday church services, especially before the Eid El-Adha.

The National Women Council also conducted a workshop with representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Endowments and Coptic Church to discuss ways to stop this problem.

Sexual harassment has been dramatically on the rise in Egypt in the past few years. With crowded streets, sexual harassment peaks during public holidays.

2006 marked the notorious incident of harassment when several women were brutally harassed and stripped of their clothes by a mob during Eid El-Fitr celebrations in downtown Cairo. The event played a major role in bringing the issue of harassment in Egypt to light.

According to a survey issued in 2008 by the Egyptian Centre for Women Rights, 83 per cent of women in Egypt and 98 per cent of foreign women have been exposed to sexual harassment at least once.

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