June 25, 2014 | 11:22 pm
Mass public uproar has erupted across Egypt following the publication of a video showing a brutal mob sex assault on a woman in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s inauguration in early June. Sexual harassment has only recently been criminalized in the country, and the first arrests were made shortly after the video surfaced.
Though it’s been a problem for decades, since the start of the revolution in 2011 there has been a rise of mob sexual assaults on women. There have been a reported 250 cases of “mass sexual rape and mass sexual assaults” between November 2012 and January 2014, according to statement from a coalition of women’s rights groups. And according to UN statistics, 99.3 percent of Egypt’s female population has faced some form of sexual harassment, leaving the country with what has been labeled a sexual harassment “epidemic.” The public and various women’s NGOs have criticized the state for doing little to tackle the issue of sexual violence.
VICE News headed to a demonstration organized on June 14 by various women’s rights activists, who are demanding the Egyptian state build an effective action plan to tackle the issue of sexual violence in the country.