Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

31 July 2014

Egypt: Woman Activist Calls for Sex Education to Combat Harassment

Cairo — A rights activist has called for including sex education in school syllabi to promote awareness among students and educate them on the danger of sexual violence and the need for respecting the female body.

The call comes after the Cairo Center for Development and Human Rights, which is concerned with women's issues, said it had spotted and documented a number of sexual harassment cases during Eid al-Fitr holiday.

"Although the number of harassers this year during Eid is smaller than it was during the last few years, the harassment is more violent and severe," said Entesar Saeed, head of the center.

There is a flaw in the ethics and education system of the Egyptian society, Saeed said.

This year we spotted young harassers using sharp blades to harass females, a phenomenon that was restricted to large gatherings in public squares, she stated.

Most harassers are young boys between the ages of 12 and16, Saeed added.

The UN Women, a UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, conducted a study in 2013 that showed that 99 percent of Egyptian women have been subject to a type of harassment.

In November 2012, the National Council for Human Rights said that more than 70 percent of Egyptian women are harassed in streets and public transport.

Egypt's former President Adli Mansour decreed last June the amendment of some penal code articles to expand the definition of harassment and to toughen its punishment.

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