Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt Anti-Harassment Initiatives Move to Presidential Palace

Egypt's Women Initiatives against harassment announced on Sunday holding a sit-in in front of the presidential palace to protect women from systematic harassment and document violations against women.

Fouada Watch coordinator Fathi Farid said that sit-ins of anti-harassment initiatives continue in Tahrir Square, referring to the movement of some of the group to the presidential palace protests to form groups of young people to address and monitor violations against women."

Assaulting the political activist Shahenda Maqlad, and member of the Popular Alliance Party Ola Shohba proves that they target activists particularly and women generally", Farid said.

Farid added that girls were subjected to harassment by the Muslim Brotherhood youth, some of them wear Islamic headscarves, according to testimonies.

"Women give importance to protests", one of the protesters said confirming that women are routinely targeted in marches and demonstrations.

She added that "Political Islamists prey on ladies in the street to force them to stay at home."

"Any attack on women is an attack on the revolution", said another protester who considered women the defense line in confrontations, noting that they were in the front line of marches carrying white sheets to symbolize the material muslims wrap their dead bodies in.

She added that the first intense assault on women in marches began immediately after the revolution during their participation in a march commemorating International Women's Day to announce their demands in Tahrir Square.

Women were harassed during clashes, injuring dozens, participants in the march then raised banners calling for women rights and social equality but a counter crowd of men responded with hostile chants and attacks.

Also, hundreds have attacked women participated in a march to end sexual harassment earlier in July.

One protester had a different view, saying that women are not precisely targeted but all what is non-Islamic is, be it men or women.

"There are attempts to provoke fear and intimidate women in order to prevent them from participating", said a 60-year-old resident of Heliopolis who confirmed that she was not assaulted during the demonstrations.

"We are not afraid", she said pointing out that these practices are not fruitful and will not prevent women from participating in all forms of protest. Noting that supporters of the decree at the presidential palace had no women among them, considering it "abnormal."

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