Tuesday, 10 December 2013

"Egypt's Trouble With Women"

Snip  from this article, in the International New York Times:
Until the end of the 1970s, many Egyptian women still went without head scarves, wearing modern Western-style dress, yet incidents of sexual harassment were rare. Now, with the spread of the hijab, harassment has taken on epidemic proportions. A 2008 study from the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights revealed that 83 percent of women interviewed had been subjected to sexual harassment at least once, and that 50 percent experienced it on a daily basis.
Why is it that men did not harass Egyptian women when they wore short skirts but that sexual harassment has increased against women in head scarves? When ultraconservative doctrine dehumanizes women, reducing them to objects, it legitimizes acts of sexual aggression against them.
So much for the arguments that Veiling/burka is a matter of "modesty" and "protecting women's virtue"....
And, an arresting couple of pictures on the spread of the veil in Egypt, from here:
Cairo University 1974. 

Cairo University 2004.  
From zero to 90% veils in 30 years.
 (Courtesy: Noni Darwish)