Egyptian Government Invokes Islam in the First Substantial Move to Combat Sexual Harassment of Women

TIME reports that the Egyptian government has responded to the 2008 Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights report survey of 1,010 Egyptian women in which over half of the women reported being subject to sexual harassment on a daily basis. Abuses ranged from lewd comments to violent molestation.

The reports also documented the widespread belief that women are largely to blame for their harassment woes. In response, the Egyptian government has distributed 50,000 copies of “Sexual Harassment: Causes and Solutions” to 50,000 imams nationwide, with a focus on five causes of harassment and ways to deal with the problem.

While the phamphlet is not the first of its kind, TIME reports that Rasha Hassan says “It’s a big change” and one of several indicators that life may be improving for women in Egypt. Read In Egypt, Invoking Islam to Combat Sexual Harassment.