Although cases of sexual harassment are common in Egypt, this one particularly shocked the nation. A young woman was assaulted by a group of students in broad daylight at a university campus. The university’s dean as well as several journalists were quick to point the finger at her clothes, which they say were too provocative.
Dean accuses woman of ‘provocative dress’ after Egypt campus sex assault
Thursday ,20 March 2014
Video of the sexual assault, which took place at the law school of the University of Cairo on March 16, has gone viral on social media and been broadcast by local television channels. The footage, posted onto YouTube on March 17, shows the woman moments after the assault. Wearing leggings and a pink top, the woman is protected by university security while a group of students follow and hiss at her.
Video showing security guards escorting the student to the university’s exit as a group of students follow her.
According to witness accounts in Egyptian media, the young woman was in the university’s courtyard when a group of students started to insult and undress her. She hid in the toilets and waited for security guards to arrive and escort her to a taxi at the campus exit.
A video showing another angle of the woman being escorted from the campus.
The university’s dean, Jaber Nasser, told local television station ONTV that the student entered the university wearing an “abaya” (a long robe) over her clothes “because security will not allow students to enter wearing inappropriate clothing”. He says that, once inside, the girl took off the abaya. “The university doesn’t impose a dress code on students, but you need to respect the customs and traditions of our society,” he adds. A female journalist from Rotana Misriya television station went further, accusing the girl of dressing “too provocatively, like a cabaret dancer.”
These remarks led to an outcry on social media and from women’s rights organisations, which called for the university’s dean to resign. Nasser has since apologised, saying he wasn’t trying to hold the young woman responsible. He also opened an inquiry and promised to bring those responsible for the assault to justice.