UN Egypt calls for firm stand on violence against women

The United Nations in Egypt commends the new anti-sexual harassment law and calls on the Egyptian authorities to ensure its enforcement for the protection of women and girls


Cairo — The United Nations in Egypt has been following with deep concern the recent reports and statistics indicating the high prevalence of sexual harassment in Egypt. The UN calls upon authorities, civil society and stakeholders to join forces and take a firm stand against all forms of gender-based violence in Egypt. The United Nations also encourages all measures to be taken by the Egyptian authorities to ensure the enforcement of the newly adopted anti-sexual harassment law and that perpetrators of crimes, such as the ones taking place in Tahrir Square, are held accountable.

The United Nations in Egypt commends the newly approved anti-sexual harassment law that is added as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code. The amendment is very encouraging as it defines “sexual harassment” for the first time in Egypt’s history. This law represents a major step towards achieving safety of Egyptian women and girls in public spaces. This law is a concrete result of combined efforts by the Egyptian Government together with civil society and UN agencies.

The United Nations in Egypt also welcomes the new President’s inaugural speech highlighting the important role of Egyptian women. Harassment is a human rights violation and a threat to the safety and freedom of women and girls, preventing their full engagement in public life. Women and girls have the right to live a life free from all forms of violence in accordance with Egypt’s Constitution and the commitments made by the Government of Egypt to United Nations international conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The United Nations in Egypt will continue its efforts to support the proposed legislative changes, procedures and regulations that should emanate from the newly approved law to ensure that the law is enforced and life for women and girls is made safer.