National Council for Women (NCW) Chairwoman Maya Morsi - Courtesy of NCW's Facebook page National Council for Women (NCW) Chairwoman Maya Morsi - Courtesy of NCW's Facebook page

NCW braces for Eid harassment

Fri, Aug. 25, 2017
CAIRO – 25 August 2017: While only six days remain before Islamic nations celebrate the al-Adha feast Eid al-Adha, Women's institutions are preparing to face any sexual or verbal harassing incidents. Incidents around Eid have become frequent over the past few years.

Excessive security procedures and a high-level state of emergency are expected to be declared during the coming days by the Interior Ministry, women NGOs and The National Council for Women (NCW).

A special operations room to follow harassment complaints during Eid was announced by NCW chairwoman Maya Morsi on Friday. In statements to Egypt Today NCW member Suzan Elkalliny demanded all girls no feel afraid of reporting harassing incidents. “All procedures we take are committed to be confidential. There is no need for any girl to be afraid,” she said.

Last June, during Eid al-Fitr celebrations, about seventeen men were arrested for harassing women in several governorates including Cairo and Alexandria. Legal experts told Egypt Today that the punishment for verbal harassment is one year in prison, while physical harassment could land the offender in prison for five to seven years.

Incidents of sexual harassment have been commonplace in recent years during Eid on the streets, in crowded malls and cinemas. In June 2016, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement that about 120 women were sexually harassed during the first two days of Eid.

Eid al-Adha is a four-day celebration concurrent with the Islamic pilgrimage (hajj). During these days, Muslims honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obeying God's command.

However, before Ibrahim puts the knife to his son’s neck, God orders him to stop and sacrifice a sheep instead of Ishmael. Since then, Muslims sacrifice sheep after praying during the first day as one of the celebration ceremonies. Most of the sheep’s meat given to the poor and needy.
 
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