Egyptian Parliament to Vote on Sexual Assault Bill
Egypt on Sunday set its eyes on advancing women’s rights and protection against sexual assault, as a new bill was introduced in parliament calling for the protection of the identities of individuals who report sexual abuse. The draft, which was approved by a parliamentary committee, will be voted on later this month. If passed, it will enable survivors and women who file charges over assault and harassment to remain anonymous during legal procedures. Another bill, aimed at criminalizing intra-marriage rape and toughening penalties against sexual abuse, is also making its way through parliament, though it remains unclear when and if it will be brought to a vote. Egypt, and especially its capital Cairo, is considered one of the most dangerous places for women worldwide, with no less than 99% of Egyptian women questioned in a 2013 United Nations study reporting sexual harassment.