Anti Sexual Harassment Protest Harassed

Egypt Independent, June 9, 2012

A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

From the ferocity of the assault, some of the victims said it appeared to have been an organized attempt to drive women out of demonstrations and trample on the pro-democracy protest movement.

The attack follows smaller scale assaults on women this week in Tahrir, the epicenter of the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down last year. Thousands have been gathering in the square this week in protests over a variety of issues—mainly over worries that presidential elections this month will secure the continued rule by elements of Mubarak’s regime backed by the ruling military.

Earlier in the week, an Associated Press reporter witnessed around 200 men assault a woman who eventually fainted before men trying to help could reach her.

Friday’s march was called to demand an end to sexual assaults. Around 50 women participated, surrounded by a larger group of male supporters who joined to hands to form a protective ring around them. The protesters carried posters saying, “The people want to cut the hand of the sexual harasser,” and chanted, “The Egyptian girl says it loudly, harassment is barbaric.”

After the marchers entered a crowded corner of the square, a group of men waded into the women, heckling them and groping them. The male supporters tried to fend them off, and it turned into a melee involving a mob of hundreds.

The marchers tried to flee while the attackers chased them and male supporters tried to protect them. But the attackers persisted, cornering several women against a metal sidewalk railing, including an Associated Press reporter, shoving their hands down their clothes and trying to grab their bags. The male supporters fought back, swinging belts and fists and throwing water.


Sexual harassment of women, including against those who wear the Islamic headscarf or even cover their face, is common in the streets of Cairo. A 2008 report by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights says two-thirds of women in Egypt experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis. A string of mass assaults on women in 2006 during the Muslim feast following the holy month of Ramadan prompted police to increase the number of patrols to combat it but legislation providing punishment was never passed.



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • haroldcrews

    You’d think that feminists would be the loudest opponents of immigration of Arabs and other Muslims into the West but sadly they are largely silent.  This silence makes it fairly obvious that the leadership at least isn’t concerned with sexual assault and harassment except as a means of increasing their power at the expense of white males and tradition minded women.

    • Which is a testament of their stupidity & short-sightedness.

    • The__Bobster

      Silent? They accept and defend misogynist behavior from them that they’d never accept from us because “it’s part of their culture”.

  • I thought the worst thing a taxpaying man could do was not pay for a woman’s $2000+ a year in birth control. Stupid women need birth control more than anyone else as the pill is only $10 a month (120 a year) and its free to low incomes.

  • JohnEngelman

    Everything secular liberals hate about the religious right and the Bible Belt is far more true of Islamic societies. Nevertheless, secular liberals pressure Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. 

  • JohnEngelman

    According to the Pew Research Center 84 percent of Muslims in Egypt, and 86 percent of Muslims in Jordan favor the death penalty for those who leave the Islamic faith. 

  • Anyone who claims these third-world misfits are equal to White Europeans is delusional.

    • The language I would have used would have been more “colorful”, but yeah, what you said…

      Besides, my remark would have been removed by the Moderator, no matter how funny or true it was…

  • JackKrak

    Meanwhile, somewhere there’s a leftist who’s indignant that we haven’t imported more of these fine Egyptian gentlemen.

  • Detroit_WASP

    White woman raped by 3 blacks.  60 Minutes did a story about it but never mentioned race.  The story is focused more about college politics.

  • Stein

    “Egyptian men appear not to be gentlemen”
    It is insulting to say such a thing to
     the real inhabitants of Egypt, the Copts or lets rather call them the Egyptians .
    It is Arabs who defend their religious right to harass unattended women.