Morsy must act against violence toward women, say rights groups

Human rights organizations, political parties and public figures on Sunday called on President Mohamed Morsy to take urgent measures against violence toward women, calling on him to safeguard their dignity and the security of the society as a whole.

The signatories to the statement expressed their deep concern over media and social networking reports about unveiled women being subjected to severe harassment and assault, including verbal abuse and attempts to attack them because of allegedly revealing clothing.

The statement said that during demonstrations last Thursday members of the Muslim Brotherhood assaulted activist Samira Ibrahim and pushed her out of Tahrir Square. The statement also referred to Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazy’s attack on two female photographers near the stage that was erected for President Mohamed Morsy during last Friday’s demonstration.

The statement considered such acts as reflective of a masculine culture that is hostile to women, deeming them inferior, sinful and the cause of all evils, which is a blatant infringement on women’s rights and freedoms.

The statement was signed by a number of NGOs, including the Egyptian Feminist Union, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, and the Egyptian Women’s Union. Signatories from political parties included the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, as well as public figures including law professor Hossam Eissa, political science professor and former MP Amr Hamzawy, actress Basma and actor Khaled al-Sawy.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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