At least three men were arrested for sexually harassing women on the first day of Eid al-Adha, while several others were given official warnings or thrown out of parks and public areas, media outlets reported on Saturday.
Sexual harassment affects women on a daily basis across Egypt, yet these incidents have tended to spike dramatically during Eid holidays.
Three men were reportedly arrested in Cairo’s Fustat park while in the act of sexually harassing women. The perpetrators were reportedly taken to a police station in Old Cairo.
The privately owned Veto news website published photos of males aged 10 to 15 harassing women in Cairo’s Al-Azhar Park on Saturday. The website reported that security guards threw several of them out in response to repeated complaints.
Youm7 news portal reported at least 38 incidents of sexual harassment on Saturday in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, and Kafr al-Sheikh. However, this number is very likely only the tip of the iceberg, as sexual harassment often goes unreported.
Youm7 also reported that, in preparation for Eid al-Adha, many girls and women were preparing themselves to venture out in public, arming themselves with tasers, pepper spray and other means of self defense.
The state-appointed National Council for Women announced a hotline for the Eid holiday, from 10am to 10pm. The numbers are: 08008883888 and 01007525600.
According to state-owned media outlets, Egypt’s police forces were placed on alert across the country, especially along the Nile, in parks, and other public spaces, in order to apprehend harassers.
On June 5, interim President Adly Mansour issued Decree 50, which imposes fines of LE3,000 to LE5,000 ($US 420 to 700) for those caught in the act of sexual harassment or assault, whether by gestures, words or actions. Moreover, assailants are to be sentenced to no less than six months in prison.
Repeat offenders of sexual harassment and stalkers may be issued additional penalties including, imprisonment for one year, and fines of LE5,000 to LE10,000 ($US 700 to 1,400).