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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rape is one of the most common crimes in Egypt.[1] Marital rape is not illegal in Egypt. By 2008, the U.N. quoted Egypt's Interior Ministry's figure that 20,000 rapes take place every year, although according to the activist Engy Ghozlan (ECWR), rapes are 10 times higher than the stats given by Interior Ministry, making it 200,000 per year.[2] Mona Eltahawy has also noted the same figure (200,000), and added that this was before the revolution, and that today the number is actually higher.[3]

Rapes have been carried out during festivals and the Egyptian protests, and include the public rapes of women, and female journalists.[4]


Rapes are usually not reported in Egypt, due to the fear of social rejection, and culturally it is not accepted.

Rania Hamid from Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) says that no one tells that they have been raped, saying "Girls consider it to be quite enough that a few people know about the rape." Rania Hamid further describes the problem, that even if a girl would reveal that she has been raped, the whole issue would take form of honour, she said that "There are problems of honour. Sometimes a brother or cousin may kill her, saying 'you wanted this, you encouraged this, you’re not honourable, and what is that you are wearing?...' Of course it’s not her fault, but who are you going to tell that to? The girl or society?"[2]

According to the US State Department country report, "honour crimes" are not actually illegal in Egypt.[citation needed]

Farah Shash, a psychologist explains that young boys are rarely stopped or opposed by their parents for molesting girls publicly, it's because the children always saw the same behavior around them. Shash further adds that "Often, families will just laugh".[5] According Seif el-Dawla who runs a center in the country told that "Sexual molestation and harassment ... is routine for women who come across police".

The Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR) has called the problem "social cancer" and suggested that dress code is not deterrent at all. ECWR carried out a survey in 2008 which found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women within Egypt had experienced sexual harassment at some time, and only 12% had gone to police for complaining such issue.[6] Over 62% of Egyptian men admitted harassing women, and 53% of Egyptian men have blamed women for 'bringing it on.'

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality on May 23, 2013, reported that an estimated of 99.3% of Egyptian women said they faced some form of sexual violence.[7]

Activists in 2012 alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood pays for raping women and beating men who gather to protest.[8]

In December 2008, Egypt for Christ Ministry accused the Egyptian police of torturing and raping a Muslim convert to Christianity to pressure her to re-convert back to Islam.[9] Compass Direct News Samuel during her trial had accused the police of sexual abuse and mistreatment by the police as well as assault by fellow prisoners.[10][11]

Security forces

There are incidents in which military men had raped a civilian.[12] In April 2014, it was reported that the Egyptian police were using rape as a weapon against the political dissidents, in relation to this report, one of the victim had raised the issue during the first judicial hearing, although the victim's complaint was ignored.[13]

Child sexual abuse

Agape Girgis, 13 year old Egyptian girl, abducted from Nahda, el-Ameriya, near Alexandria, on December 23, 2012[14]
Agape Girgis, 13 year old Egyptian girl, abducted from Nahda, el-Ameriya, near Alexandria, on December 23, 2012[14]

A survey of male and female students at Sohag University found an overall child sexual abuse prevalence of 29.8%, with the rate for females (37.8%) being higher than that for males (21.2%). Hugging and kissing in a way that disturbed the victim were the most reported type of child sexual abuse. 76.1% of the abuse was not disclosed to another party.[15]

Child rape as a form of punishment has been reported.[16]

Egypt remains one of the most common countries for forced marriage as well as child marriage, along with Saudi Arabia and Yemen. An Egyptian TV series named Burying Girls Alive, shown on one of the satellite channels during Ramadan, shows an old man simply buying a teenage girl by taking advantage of poverty.[17]

The high rate of rape and abduction of Coptic children by Islamists has also been documented both during President Morsi's rule and subsequently,[18] so has abduction of Coptic minors for the purpose of forced marriage to Muslim men.[19][20][21]

Organised abduction rings, police collusion and payments for each abductee are also alleged.[22]

Mass sexual assault

During protests

During the 2011 - 2014 Egyptian protests, rape had been carried out publicly.

CBS correspondent Lara Logan revealed in her 60 Minutes program that she and her CBS crew were arrested and detained for one night by the Egyptian Army on 3 February 2011, while covering the Egyptian Revolution. She said the crew was blindfolded and handcuffed at gunpoint, and their driver beaten. They were advised to leave the country, but were later released.[23] On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement that Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted on 11 February, while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak's resignation.[24]

In Logan's own words, they raped her with their hands, while taking photographs with their cellphones. They began pulling her body in different directions, pulling her hair so hard she said it seemed they were trying to tear off chunks of her scalp. Believing she was dying, she was dragged along the square to where the crowd was stopped by a fence, alongside which a group of women were camping. One woman wearing a chador put her arms around Logan, and the others closed ranks around her, while some men who were with the women threw water at the crowd.[25]

A group of soldiers appeared, beat back the crowd with batons, and one of them threw Logan over his shoulder. She was flown back to the U.S. the next day, where she spent four days in the hospital. She was contacted by US president Barack Obama when she arrived home.[26] CBS said it remained unclear who the attackers were, and unlikely that any will be prosecuted.

After the fall of Mubarak, there was rapid escalation, beginning with the attacks, on the night he stepped down. The Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy was sexually assaulted by a gang of security men after being detained.[27][28] An Egyptian journalist Hania Moheeb was trapped for more than an hour among men who sexually assaulted her.[29]

A female 22-year-old Dutch journalist was gang raped by 5 men in the protest.[4]

On 3 July 2013, it was reported that about 91 women were raped and sexually abused in Tahrir Square in 4 days.[30]

Such incidents don't seem to be opposed by the government or officials, but instead they seemed to have gathered support. Report by Nina Burleigh quotes Egyptian Salafi preacher Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, who said that "women protesting in Tahrir Square have no shame and want to be raped".[7]

After revolution, about 50% of women have reported more harassment. 44% said that harassment remained is same as it was before, while, over 58% of men surveyed have told that harassment has been increased after revolution.[31]

Eid al Fitr assaults

There were several accounts of a heightened number of sexual assaults and rapes taking place during Eid al Fitr in 2006 in Egypt, some noting as well the precautions being taken to prevent a recurrence of such problems.[32][33][34][35] Subsequent reports indicated that this phenomenon continued to cause concern,[36][37][38][39] one journalist reporting from Egypt wrote in The Guardian in 2012, "The Eid al-Fitr holiday following this year's Ramadan brought its usual share of sexual harassment".[40]

An Egyptian group founded to protect against sexual assaults, 'described Eid al-Fitr as a "season for harassment"',[41] and the prevalence of such attacks 'a trend that has become associated with Eid al-Fitr celebrations in recent years'.[38] Again in 2013, the same allegations surfaced in Cairo and Tanta.[42][43][44] Public discussion of the problem in Egypt has been reported to be difficult.[45]

2014 saw lower rates of attempted harassment, and activists reported women and girls were more confident that assaults would be punished since amendment of the penal code earlier in the year.[46] 6 arrests were reported in Eid.[47] In 2015, 141 police reports for sexual harassment were filed during Eid in Cairo.[48] It was claimed the lack of data security or of a support mechanism after reporting hindered confidence, leading to many reports being subsequently withdrawn.[48] Female concern about assault was still strong in 2016,[49] but reported arrests and complaints were down.[50]

See also



  1. ^ "Egyptian woman goes public about alleged police rape in rare TV interview". Associated Press. 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  2. ^ a b "EGYPT: Are attitudes to rape beginning to change?". IRIN. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  3. ^ How Safe is Egypt After the Revolution?, EscapeArtistes, April 26, 2012
  4. ^ a b "Dutch female reporter gang-raped by 5 men in violent Egyptian protests". NY Post. 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  5. ^ "Egypt's sexual assault epidemic". Al Jazeera. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  6. ^ "Egyptian jailed three years for groping". 21 October 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Gang rape, the dark side of Egypt's protests". CNN. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  8. ^ "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood accused of paying gangs to rape women".
  9. ^ "Egyptian Convert to Christianity Tortured, Raped in Egypt".
  10. ^
  11. ^ Marshall, Paul A.; Gilbert, Lela; Shea, Nina (2013). Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians. ISBN 9781400204410.
  12. ^ "Egypt: Military Impunity for Violence Against Women". Human Rights Watch. 2012-04-07.
  13. ^ Egyptian police 'using rape as a weapon' against dissident groups | World news | The Observer
  14. ^ Assyrian International News Agency (AINA)
  15. ^ El Sayed, Khaled (September 2012). "Prevalence and pattern of child sexual abuse reported by cross sectional study among the University students, Sohag University, Egypt". Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. 2 (3): 89–96. doi:10.1016/j.ejfs.2012.05.001.
  16. ^ "Punishment rape in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood - The Commentator". Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  17. ^ "Child marriage: legalised rape?". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  18. ^ Abdelmassih, Mary (2013-02-02). "Abducted Egyptian Christian Girl Possibly Smuggled to Libya". Assyrian International News Agency. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  19. ^ Abdelmassih, Mary (2013-02-03). "Egyptian Christian Girl, 13, Abducted By Muslims". Assyrian International News Agency. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  20. ^ "The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt" (PDF). Christian Solidarity International. 2012-07-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  21. ^ "Hundreds of Egyptian women and girls kidnapped, forced into Islam, claims report". Fox News. 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  22. ^ "Egypt: ex-kidnapper admits 'they get paid for every Coptic Christian girl they bring in'". World Watch Monitor. 2017-09-14. Archived from the original on 2017-12-25. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  23. ^ Kamer, Foster (2011-02-11). "Lara Logan's Egypt Interrogation Tell-All". Esquire.
  24. ^ Stelter, Brian (15 February 2011). "CBS Says Lara Logan Suffered 'Brutal' Attack in Cairo". The New York Times.
  25. ^ "Lara Logan Assaulted During Egypt Protests". CBS News. 15 February 2011.
  26. ^ "Lara Logan Assaulted During Egypt Protests". CBS News. 15 February 2011.
  27. ^ Serena Hollmeyer Taylor, et al., "'When She Stands Among Men': Sexual Harassment of Women at Political Protests in Cairo, January 2011 – August 2013", Al Nakhlah, 10 June 2014.
  28. ^ Mona Eltahawy, "Bruised but defiant: Mona Eltahawy on her assault by Egyptian security forces", The Guardian, 23 December 2011.

    Mona Eltahawy, "Egypt needs a revolution against sexual violence", The Guardian, 10 July 2013.

  29. ^
  30. ^ "NINETY-ONE women protesters raped and sexually abused in Tahrir Square in just four days". Daily Mail. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  31. ^ "Women in Egypt suffer more sexual violence under Islamist rule". Alarabiya. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  32. ^ "Cairo street crowds target women". BBC News. 2006-11-01. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  33. ^ "The Widespread Plague of Sexual Harassment in Egypt". Al Akhbar English. 2012-09-20. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  34. ^ Ali, Mohammed (2008-10-21). "Taking on Sexual Harassment, a Social Phenomenon in Egypt | Al Jadid Magazine". Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  35. ^ "Sexual Harassment Takes Center Stage Again in Egypt". Ikhwanweb. 2007-07-05. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  36. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | Unsafe streets". 2008-10-15. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  37. ^ "The latest developments of the case of sexual harassment in Cairo". World Pulse. 2012-10-29. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  38. ^ a b "Sexual assaults in Egypt mar Eid holiday". Al Arabiya. 2008-10-05. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
  39. ^ "Movement plans patrols to counter sexual harassment during Eid". Egypt Independent. 2012-09-17. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  40. ^ "Egypt is starting to take sexual harassment seriously". The Guardian. 2012-09-05. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  41. ^ "Several arrested as sexual harassment surges in Cairo". Egypt Independent. 2012-08-21. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  42. ^ "'I witnessed harassment' volunteers catch 8-10 yr olds in the act". Ahram Online. Archived from the original on 2013-08-10. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  43. ^ "Egypt activists try to stop holiday sex harassment". USA Today. 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  44. ^ "Victim of harassment killed in Tanta: Shoft Taharosh group continues monitoring sexual harassment during Eid". Daily News Egypt. 2013-08-10. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  45. ^ "Sex Harassment Is Off-Topic for Egyptian Ramadan". Women's E news. 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  46. ^ "Anti-sexual harassment initiative intervenes in 35 incidents during Eid". Daily News Egypt. 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  47. ^ "Six arrested in Egypt over sexual harassment during Eid". Al Arabiya. 2014-07-30. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  48. ^ a b "141 sexual harassment incidents reported in 3 days during Eid al-Fitr: NCW". The Cairo Post. 2015-07-20. Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  49. ^ "Risk of sex attack fills women with dread during Eid al-Fitr vacation". Egypt Independent. 2016-07-05. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  50. ^ "Egypt reports drop in sexual harassment during Eid". Gulf News. 2016-07-08. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-08.

Further reading

External Links

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