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Rape victims rally against Egypt's inaction on sexual violence


Egypt

Rape victims rally against Egypt's inaction on sexual violence

Rape victims and rights activists have rallied in Cairo against the escalating number of sexual attacks against women in Egypt.

The protest follows last week’s sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in Tahrir Square during the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Seven men have been arrested amid growing outrage after a video purportedly showing the attack was posted online.

One victim of sexual assault described her own experience:“When I turned to go back, I was attacked by a number of young men. They trapped me. I asked my friend to grab and protect me from behind. The attackers tried to provoke him and remove his hands from around my body. Their hands were on every part of my body.’‘

An activist at the protest said:
‘‘We’re so tired of this problem. It is a cultural sickness. We’ve had a political revolution, but now we need an intellectual revolution as well.’‘

A recent U.N. report said 99.3 percent of women and girls had been subjected to sexual harassment in Egypt.

Last week the government issued a new law punishing such crimes by at least six months in jail.

But as euronews’ Mohammed Shaikhibrahim says: ‘‘Activists here say existing legal deterrents to combat this phenomenon don’t go far enough. They insist there needs to be a national strategy to address the social ill of sexual violence in Egypt.’‘

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