Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

6 February 2013

Egypt: Women Learn Self-Defense to Combat Harassment

A women's initiative that goes by the name "Shoft Taharosh" (I Saw Harassment) has began a free training program to teach women self-defense against all types of physical assaults.

The training sessions will begin on Friday, February 8, 2013 where Martial Arts professionals will trian 20 young women over eight sessions.

"Shoft Taharosh" member, Fathy Farid, has said that the program aims to train 10, 000 women by the end of 2013, starting with Cairo then expanding to other governorates.

He added that most of the Martial Arts professionals involved in the program are volunteers, adding that Martial Arts training will not be included in the program, but skills that could be useful in individual or group assaults will be.

Egypt's National Council for Women Rights had called on all women who were subjected to violence or harassment during protests to come forward and press legal charges.

The council is currently trying to pass a draft law that criminalizes sexual harassment and defines it as a clear offense in the criminal code.

A number of women's rights groups and activists will march against sexual harassment under the slogan "The Street is Ours" from Sayeda Zeinab to Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

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