There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get sexually harassed, at least verbally, on Egyptian streets. Many women face the dilemma of whether driving or riding in cabs safer to get around town, and sadly it is neither. I know as many women who get harassed driving their own cars as women who walk or cab it around town. The unfortunate truth is that NO ONE is above sexual harassment in Egypt; whether young, old, fat, thin, rich, poor, veiled, nikabi, not covered, foreigner, native, Muslim, Christian, atheist, educated, or not, all are equally subject to sexual harassment on any given day. However, I think the poorer you are, or the more time you spend on the streets, the more you will get harassed by sheer math. Thus, the working class women, I think are the ones who get sexually harassed the most on a daily basis. Any women, who travels far from home to work, or works multiple jobs, will spend more time on the streets (whether driving or using public transportation), therefore she is subject to the daily sleazy comments, starring looks, and even ass-grabbed by men of all ages even little kids!
What is the solution?
They are multiple, but first, we have to stop blaming the victim mentality. Many Egyptians believe that it is because women dress “casual” or “sexy,” but simply that is NOT true because Nikabi, and completely covered women get as much harassed too. The rhetoric of accusing the women for “bringing sexual harassment upon herself” by being late on the street is the most ridiculous. I, as a woman, have every single right to be on the street at any given hour of the day just as much as men without being judged or harassed. Let’s remember that women have a right to live just like men, and assumptions based on gender is simply a form of discrimination and sexism.