Foreign Women React to ECWR Survey on Sexual Harassment

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Sexual harassment is, as we all know, a big problem in Egypt. To find out how big the problem really is, ECWR started to distribute questionnaires among Egyptian women (1010 questionnaires completed), Egyptian men (also 1010) and foreign women (100).


ECWR volunteers noticed that foreign women are very willing to help and to talk about their experiences. It is a problem that is very much alive and many women suffer from. Jane wasn’t the only one who was “just talking about this problem”. Another foreign woman who wanted to fill in the questionnaire was also just talking about it and she took her time to fill it in. Many women are glad that “finally someone is doing something about it”.


A foreign woman who completed the questionnaire via email said, after living almost a year in Egypt, “I left Egypt early because I couldn’t stand living in a country anymore where I got harassed every single day. I hope I’ll never have to return to Egypt again in my life”.  This is an example that shows how much sexual harassment can infect someone’s life and view about Egypt.


One man who joined the foreign women filling in the questionnaire was disappointed because this particular survey was for women only, “I also suffer from sexual harassment!” he said.


Another foreign woman shared her story with us about an Egyptian man who flashed her while she was in the gym. When she asked for help, no one was willing – men and women weren’t taking her seriously. She gave the gym an ultimatum; him or her as a member. They wouldn’t kick him out so she left.


Not only is sexual harassment a problem, but also the ignorance of it. When women ask for help to other people, like police officers, family, judges etc. they are often not willing to face this problem and protect women who are suffering daily. Instead, foreign and Egyptian women are often blamed or laughed at. ECWR has reports from many foreign women who don’t want to return or live in Egypt because of harassment here, hurting Egypt's tourism economy as well as its reputation and relations with people abroad. Some Egyptian women even don’t want to leave their houses because of harassment in the street.


ECWR is making an effort to stop sexual harassment by distributing surveys for research, holding press conferences, legal reform and public outreach, including awareness days. ECWR hopes that by increasing awareness about this problem, women can break their silence and pressure decision-makers and society to face it.


*Names are changed for privacy reasons.


Sign ECWR’s Petition for a New Law Against Sexual Harassment in Egypt!


Visit to view the petition.


To join either:


1.       Send an email with your name, job and email address


2.       Sign the petition online at


3.       Print the petition and distribute it to all your friends and family, then send it back to ECWR at:


The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights

135 Misr-Helwan El Zeraay
2nd Floor, Suite 3
Hadayak El Maadi, Cairo

Tel: (20) 2 2.527.1397 / 2.528.2176

Fax: (20) 2 2.528.2175


NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations


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