Egyptian women fighting back against skyrocketing sexual assaults

Washington, Mar. 28 : Women in Egypt are fighting against sexual assaults that have skyrocketed and often committed by gangs of men during protests against President Mohammed Morsi at Tahrir Square.

Filmmaker and activist Aida El Kashef has made a video to show Egyptians what these mob attacks on women look like.

El Kashef said that 20 other women were assaulted at one night. Sexual harassment has always been a part of life in Egypt, but before the revolution, there were few demonstrations, and mass sexual assaults were virtually unheard of, CBS News reports.

According to the report, Kashef said there are women being assaulted at every protest, and she and other activists decided to fight back.

They formed teams that try to spot attacks as they happen, pushing their way in to rescue the victim.

She said that people grabbed her everywhere, trying to take off her clothes, adding that her underwear was torn, and the thing is that it was not about the sexual assault at that moment, it's just that you're being pulled from every inch of your body.

Mahmoud Osman volunteers with a group called Tahrir Bodyguards, who wear fluorescent jackets and helmets and are easy to spot in the crowd.

Activists complain that Egypt's new government has done nothing to make the streets safer for women.

So the Bodyguards also offer self-defense classes, and El Kashef said she and her friends carry electric prods and knives to protect themselves.

She said that it was the only way to protect yourself.

Asked whether she sometimes thinks her presence is more of a hindrance than a help, El Kashef replied that it is their fight as women,' adding 'a fight they won't give up'.

--ANI (Posted on 28-03-2013)

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