Anti-harassment initiatives move to presidential palace

Monday 10-12-2012 12:23 PM
Anti-harassment initiatives move to presidential palace

Thousands of Egyptians marched to the presidential palace on Thursday, December 6, 2012, against a decree issued by President Mohamed Mursi and a draft constitution written by an Islamist-dominated assembly. Ahmed Hamed/Aswat Masriya


A number of initiatives against harassment announced on Sunday holding a sit-in in front of the presidential palace to protect women from systematic harassment and document violations.

Fouada Watch coordinator Fathi Farid said that sit-ins of anti-harassment initiatives continue in Tahrir Square, referring to some of the group moved to the presidential palace protests to address and monitor violations against women.

"Assaulting the political activist Shahenda Maqlad, and member of the Popular Alliance Party Ola Shohba proves that they target activists and women", Farid said.

Farid added that girls were subjected to harassment by the Muslim Brotherhood youth, some of them wear Islamic headscarves, according to testimonies.

"Women give importance to protests", one of the protesters said confirming that women are routinely targeted in demonstrations.

She added that "Political Islamists prey on ladies in the street to force them to stay at home."

"Any attack on women is an attack on the revolution", said another protester who considered women the defense line in confrontations, noting that they were in the front line of marches carrying white sheets to symbolize the material Muslims wrap the bodies of their dead in. 

She added that the first intense assault on women took place after the revolution during their participation in a march commemorating International Women's Day.

Women were harassed during clashes, dozens were injured while raising banners that called for women rights and social equality where a counter crowd of men responded with hostile chants and attacks.

One protester had a different view, saying that women are not precisely targeted but all what is non-Islamic is, be it men or women.

"There are attempts to provoke fear and intimidate women in order to prevent them from political participation", said a 60-year-old resident of Heliopolis who confirmed that she was not assaulted during the demonstrations.

"We are not afraid", she said pointing out that these practices are not fruitful and will not prevent women from participating in all forms of protest. Noting that supporters of President Mohamed Mursi had no women among them, considering it "abnormal."

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