The National Council for Women (NCW) in Cairo, Egypt issued a report on Monday stating that there were 66 Sexual Harassment incidents that occurred on the first day of Eid. Although sexual harassment is not uncommon throughout Egypt, it is a relatively high number for a religious holiday. Eid is a festival celebration in Egypt that lasts for three days. It marks the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, swearing, and having sex from dawn until dusk. The feast that follows Ramadan is known as Eid il-Fitr.

It is meant to be a time for prayer and visiting relatives.

The incidents

The NCW has reported that some of these incidents were verbal assaults, and others were physical. At Fulstat Park in South Cairo, there were 13 verbal harassment complaints. At Giza Zoo, physical assault cases added up to 22 by the end of the day. In Downtown Cairo, women reported 19 incidents of verbal abuse and 12 cases of physical harassment. Reda el-Danbouky, the executive director of the Women's Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness (WCGLA) gave the final count of harassment cases to Ahram Online. This organization operates in several cities including Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahliya, and Kafr El-Sheikh. They encourage women to come forward with any complaints, but many Egyptian women never report sexual harassment.

There is a social stigma attached to being a victim of sexual assault in Egypt. The Ministry of Interior has tried to combat street harassment recently by sending female police officers into the field. Sexual harassment was made illegal in 2014.

Street harassment in Egypt

It is not a rare sight to see harassment in the streets of Egypt.

Surprisingly, there was an increase in complaints during Eid. Groups of young men will corral a woman or girl, and then they will verbally or physically assault her. This scenario is all too familiar in the streets of Cairo. Many women have reported encountering street harassment on a daily basis. It has become such a problem that some lawyers are now riding with police officers during Eid to aid with prosecution.

Sexual harassment charges in Egypt come with a minimum of six months in prison and/or a fine of EGP 3,000 to EGP 5,000 (approximately $165 to $275). The law states that any physical, verbal, or electronic communication that carries sexual or pornographic connotations is considered sexual harassment. During the 2011 and 2013 revolutions, Egypt saw a surge in cases such as these. Under President Sisi's administration, Egypt has cracked down on sexual predators.