• Women
  • June 19, 2007
  • 13 minutes read

Egyptian study: Eve-Teasing Against 18-40 yrs Females Rising

A field study prepared by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights revealed that there is no specific age during which a female faces sexual harassment, as females aged 18 to 40 years are facing harassments. The only exception is those aged 41 years and older.



The study, detailed by Nihad Abul Kamsan, the manager of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, in a conference entitled “for a safe-for-all street” in Saqyat Abdul Moneim Al Sawi, listed forms of sexual harassment, including verbal harassment, known in the Egyptian street as “molestations”, that scored the highest record. She pointed out that this verbal harassment or molestation may include acceptable words like “O you sweet” and “O you beautiful”, to other obscene that describe private parts of the female .


The study that included 2800 cases indicated that words of compliment exchanged among colleagues at workplaces aren’t included as sexual harassment unless they have a sexual denotation.



She added that the second kind of harassment is groping, pointing out that this groping is spread in public places and means of transportation, as if the youth don’t feel ashamed of committing such actions. She attributed this to education method that establishes masculinity and man’s view to women as a creature of a lower nature.


She confirmed that the street witnesses most cases of harassment, proving that it is no longer safe for women to walk in it. Hunting women in the street was ranked third among forms of harassment in this study. This shows the current moral degeneration in the culture of the Egyptian society.


The study said:” regardless of the outer appearance, all women face sexual harassment. This means that the harassment does not discriminate among women, whether they are veiled or unveiled; the basis is the male’s lust.


A finding of the study answered a question of: Why are harassment cases unreported?. It revealed that 7.1% of the cases complained to authorities about harassment crimes. This reveals that women lack self-confidence, for fear of facing reprimands. The study demands backing women through raising their awareness and creating a kind of reacting towards such cases to help end such a phenomenon.


The study pointed out that the young men are ones mostly committing sexual harassments. This may be attributed to the economic problem that spawned unemployment, and prevented them young men from affording money for marriage, making them alleviate their sexual suppression on any female they may encounter.


The study noticed also the spread of recklessness among Egyptian society. A low number of responses to harassment cases was recorded. When a girl facing harassment requested help from passers-by, she found no response.

Real Causes of Sexual Harassment Hike


Regarding the real causes behind the increase of the sexual harassment phenomenon, Naglaa Al-Imam, the manager of Bariq society for fighting violence against women, said in an interview with Ikhwanweb:


Nor Role-model

“We have issued many reports and researches around this topic. The latest was a report prepared by researchers who met molesters, to know the real and direct causes of this phenomenon. The absence of a religious restraint and lacking a role-model are among the most important direct reasons. Many young men don’t have a role-model to follow.”



The second cause, according to Naglaa A-Imam, is mushrooming unemployment among the Egyptian youth. Another cause is also lacking the teamwork spirit. “they believe in only individual work, not teamwork. When one of them manages to embarrass a woman, he feels that he has succeeded and he feels alleviated” added Al-Imam.


The last cause mentioned by Naglaa Al-Imam is the huge influence of the media. ” The media are undoubtedly a key reason. The media are currently experiencing a very stunning rudeness. Some youth said they watch in all TV channels, obscene scenes which mostly don’t happen in real life. However, these obscene scenes are aired on everyday on television with full spontaneity. Some others say that some female singers have so much money because they wear scandalous that leave nothing for imagination and do acts which inappropriate in our societies. Why do you blame us for things we do although they are less than their actions?, the molesters wonder to justify their sexual harassment.


Naglaa Al-Imam:” Class gaps and the state’s inattention to class disparities is another cause. The state is no longer caring for lower classes or even the middle class.


She says:” Sexual harassment means also molestation and saying obscene words. “We found out that the youth have energy, perhaps a creative energy but they can not make use of it. They give vent to this energy in obscene words which may make them happy when they manage to embarrass girls or women in streets. This energy should be made use of in the sport for example. However, we lack a sufficient number of sports clubs. Many of these few clubs even contribute to corrupting young men more as narcotics.


This is also confirmed by studies carried out by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights. A study confirmed that the sexual harassment phenomenon does not threaten only some women but it threatens all the Egyptian society altogether. The study pointed out that harassments aren’t restricted to a specific age or social class. Older  women face various forms of harassment. This means that the girl’s appearance or young age isn’t the epicenter of young men’s lust. The studies confirmed also that the most prominent common form of harassment is groping (40% of the cases) followed by harassment by saying obscene words (30%).


The study showed also that 30% of the victims face sexual harassment everyday. The reaction through gazing or uttering words towards sexual harassment accounted for 6.13% of the victims, while 6.29% of the victims did not take any reaction towards sexual harassments. Only 2% went to the police. The study confirmed that women do not trust the current legal system that doesn’t provides protection from molesters. Most women and girls facing harassments don’t know their legal rights, and that the harassments are actionable crimes, specially that they may suffer from psychological and nervous breakdowns for this .


Nihad Abul Kamsan, the manager of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, said during the conference that the penal code in Egypt and a big number of Arab countries consider harassment as a kind of insult and defamation. If the harassment is committed by groping, it is considered a rape and an obscene act in a public place, facing sentences ranging between a month with a fine and may reach up to 3 years or a fine.