A study conducted in April by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights revealed that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
“In the absence of laws against sexual violence, we can only expect street harassment and sexual assaults to continue unchecked”, argued Khafagy.
A bill on violence against women that was recently drafted by the National Council for Women and was under discussion in the now-disbanded Shura Council, the upper house of parliament has been shelved due to the political instability.
Khafagy and other rights activists however, believe that legislation won’t be enough to tackle what they described as “a social scourge.”
“The answer lies in changing people’s attitudes. Educating women about their rights and getting men to realize the extent of the harm they inflict on the women is the only way that we can change existing behavioural patterns,” insisted Kamel. “But change cannot happen overnight; it takes time.”
For Egypt’s women victims of harassment, it cannot happen fast enough.