'La lel taharosh' No for sexual harassment - Photo courtesy of Doaa el-Adl
CAIRO – 12 October 2018: The Islamic Research Center held 51,000 awareness sessions across Egypt on the dangers of harassment and violence against women, according to a statement issued by the center.
Secretary-General of the Islamic Research Center Mohieddin Afifi said that these sessions, organized by Al-Azhar sheikhs, spread widely in a short period, the statement reported.
Afifi added that the sessions aim to raise the awareness of Egyptians and urge them to shoulder the responsibility of building a better country for future generations, warning them against the dangers of indulging in rumors and misconceptions.
In the same context, the world and Egypt’s top Sunni Muslim authority, Al-Azhar, issued in August a statement expressing full rejection to sexual harassment and denouncing all attempts to blame women for the dreadful phenomenon.
The statement followed a series of sexual harassment incidents that took place in Egypt where some claimed that women's attire was the reason behind sexual assault.
"Criminalizing sexual harassment should be absolute with no condition that justifies it. Sexual harassment is an attack on women's privacy, freedom, and dignity," the leading institution asserted.
Al-Azhar used verses from the Holy Quran and Prophet Mohamed's teachings to stress that women should feel safe in their country and during travelling.
Al-Azhar also called on media “to stop broadcasting any material that promotes harassment or encourage people to imitate harassers.”
Al-Azhar demanded the implementation of all laws that punish sexual abuse and called for efforts to raise social awareness and warn against the phenomenon.
Some 60 percent of women in Egypt said they had been victims of some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime, according to a 2017 report from UN Women and Promundo.