Video Showing Sexual Assault by Mob in Egypt Draws Outrage

Video Showing Sexual Assault by Mob in Egypt Draws Outrage

Soraya Bahgat, a women’s rights activist, wrote on Twitter that the attack in the video was reminiscent of mob assaults in Tahrir Square, which have drawn international condemnation.

“Our fight is far from over & we must admit that sexual violence against women in Egypt remains a big problem,” she wrote. Responses to the video had exposed “a lot of misogyny,” she added. “Many men — and women — are stating that her outfit was inappropriate & could have well provoked the men.”

A 2017 survey by two groups that promote gender equality, Promundo and UN Women, found that sexual harassment is rampant on Egyptian streets, particularly in urban areas.

More than 60 percent of Egyptian men reported in the survey that they had sexually harassed a woman or girl on the street, and more than three-quarters of male respondents cited a woman’s “provocative” dress as a legitimate reason for harassment. And in a 2013 study by UN Women, 99.3 percent of Egyptian women and girls in a survey said they had been the victims of some kind of sexual harassment, from unwanted advances to rape.

Ms. Omran said the proliferation of security cameras in Cairo may have helped discourage some sexual assaults in the city, but the problem remains common at festivals and other large public gatherings. She said the civil and legal authorities across Egyptian society still need to take the issue more seriously.

“I think it’s important to stress that this kind of behavior doesn’t change overnight,” she said.

The police under President Hosni Mubarak, the strongman who ruled Egypt for almost three decades, largely kept sexual assault out of the public eye. But after a popular uprising ousted Mr. Mubarak during the Arab Spring in 2011, the issue burst into the open, its prevalence at demonstrations exposing the scale of the problem.

On the day that Mr. Mubarak was ousted, a CBS News correspondent, Lara Logan, was attacked and sexually assaulted by a mob while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

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