Egypt's Women Council offers legal support to sexual harassment victims during Eid
Ahram Online, , Sunday 11 Sep 2016
The National Council for Women is launching hotlines to receive complaints from sexual harassment victims and offer legal aid

Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW) is launching operation rooms to receive complaints of sexual harassment and offer legal aid to victims during Eid Al-Adha, as the annual holiday often witnesses a surge in reported harassment.

The semi-governmental council saidin an official statement Saturdaythat council lawyers would accompany police officers responding to reportsof harassment incidentsduring the four-day Eid to offer legal support for victims wishing to press charges. This is in the framework of the NCW’s ongoing cooperation with the interior ministry’sviolence against women unit.

Sexual harassment was first criminalised in Egypt in 2014, with violators facing minimum jail terms of six months and/or fines of EGP 3,000 to EGP 5,000, with harassment defined as using physical, verbal or electronic communication, or any other action, that carries sexual or pornographic connotations.

The majority of Egyptian women report suffering some form of street harassment on a daily basis, according to UN figures.

In recent years, female police officers have been deployed by the interior ministry on the streets to confront sexual harassment during Eid.

Eid Al-Adha, one of two major holidays observed annually by Muslims worldwide, will begin on Monday 12 September.

The NCW is receiving complaints during the holidayat the following hotlines: 01205575331,01121997477, 01007525600,or by email