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New police unit to combat violence against women in Egypt

New police unit to combat violence against women in Egypt
Women with red paint on their bodies, symbolizing blood. Photo: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Women with red paint on their bodies, symbolizing blood. Photo: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A new police department will be formed to tackle crimes against women, including sexual assault, harassment and other forms of violence.

The department, which was announced by Egypt’s Minister of Interior, will receive and investigate claims of violence against women and take all necessary legal action to bring the perpetrators to justice, reported state media.

The move will also see personnel from the department providing security at crowded public locations, including public transport systems, sporting venues, markets and more.

The formation of the new department comes after Egypt’s newly elected President vowed to end violence against women after at least four faced horrific incidents of sexual assault in Tahrir Square.

In a hospital visit to one of the victims of a sexual assault that was filmed and caused outrage across Egypt and the world, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi apologized to “every Egyptian woman” and vowed that “we as a nation will not allow this to happen ever again.”

Two sentenced to prison for harassment

Police women deployed to secure a recent protest against sexual assault
Police women deployed to secure a recent protest against sexual assault. Credit: Ahmed Hamed/Aswat Masriya

Meanwhile, an Alexandria court has sentenced two people to six months in prison with labour for two separate sexual harassment incidents in the coastal city.

According to Aswat Masriya, one of the defendants had asked a female passer-by for a kiss while the other sprayed another female with water as he stated “Where is my good morning, beautiful?”

Four others were also detained pending investigations over allegations of physical and sexual assault in Alexandria.

Egypt recently criminalized sexual harassment. Those found guilty of verbal sexual harassment in a private or public place will be sentenced to a minimum of six months in prison and fined no less than EGP 3,000 ($US 420). Meanwhile, unwanted sexual contact will be punished with a minimum of one year in prison and a fine of at least EGP 10,000.

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  • Maria Cirillo

    The Egyptian people in this page are writing English better than English people! LOL

  • Caroline Havell

    Hi im english woman and live in hurgarda, I agree about the new law to stop assaults on eygptian woman but what about European woman.i was badly beaten by a eygptian guy two days ago, while other eygptian guys stood and watched.

    • michael

      Dear Caroline , I believe the law will be implemented for all kind of women. Egyptians European, or any other race < I am positive the authority are willing to eliminate any kind of crime against women in general, the whole world is watching the effect of the new law, But all women with such problem should approach the authority asap.

      • Caroline Havell

        Hi the authoritys are more interested in not me being beaten but of there officer being hurt. Now im haveing hassel from the brothers of this man who attacked me.and people telling me to watch my back.i dony feel safe and no one helping me

        • michael

          Dear Caroline, I feel for you, your embassy shoul assist you in your case, sure you should have some good men around you who can help, if all these can not help you and are useless, I will be packing my bags and out of this area to a better place and among dissent people.

    • Tetto

      Dear Caroline,
      i’m so sorry to hear that, please understand that who ever did this to you is not a man, but a sick minded animal, as for the ones who watched and did nothing in my eyes they are neither men or Egyptian. There are so many Egyptian men who would stand up for you….So sorry for what happened, please understand we are fixing a country full of ignorance. This will change i promise you that.

      • Caroline Havell

        Hi thank u for your comments, I know have this persons brothers comeing to me to drop the report also being threatened to watch myself. The police also dont care about this as one of the brothers was there when the policeman came to see me.i dont feel safe here anymore

    • Bystanding Witness

      To Caroline – two questions come to my mind:
      1) Why were you beaten? Nobody beats someone “out of the blue” just because he/she feels like it.
      2) What did the Police do in your case? I assume you did file a police report like everyone would do. After all the British Embassy provides full assistance in case of needs.
      Interested to read more … thanks!

  • michael

    That is wonderful start from the new Egyptian Government,
    Hope these will eliminate any disrespect against women

    • Bystanding Witness

      Hi Michael – I join in your wish. A good sign that our new President means what he says!
      I also liked the swearing in of the new Cabinet in the early morning hours and that they’re all in their offices now at 7 a.m. – LOL!
      Hope it continues on that path and we shall see Egypt rising from the ashes like Phoenix!

      • michael

        Thank you Bystanding Witness, educate new generation will improve this situation in Egypt.
        Egyptians must understand the importance of the women in our societies, they are the one who keep our human race surviving without then the human race will perish. they need our support, admiration, love, and above all our respect , they can also contribute more in our society to improve our standard of living by participating in the work force.

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