Extra police and army personnel in Cairo on Saturday helped limit sexual harassment incidents, a local anti-sexual harassment initiative said.
The iniative – called "Shoft Taharosh" (I Saw Harassment) – reported 20 verbal and one physical sexual harassment incident on its website. All 21 incidents were stopped by the initiative's volunteers, who were present in downtown Cairo from 12pm to 10pm.
Saturday was the first day of the Islamic Eid Al-Ahda feast. Holiday seasons in Egypt have become associated with increased sexual violence and mass incidents of harassment and rape.
The initiative stressed that the lower number of sexual harassment incidents on Saturday is not due to a decrease in the phenomenon – but rather a step up in security presence due to possible terrorist threats.
Nevertheless, the initiative said it was present only in Cairo's downtown area, and that other governorates and public parks could have seen more sexual harassment incidents.
Meanwhile, Egypt's state council for women said on Thursday that it would create a hotline for females to report cases of sexual assault during the four days of Eid.
A United Nations study from last year found that over 99 percent of Egyptian women and girls have been subjected to verbal or physical sexual harassment of some kind.
Egypt's authorities recently passed a new anti-sexual harassment law and sentenced several assailants to lengthy jail terms.
The law punishes sexual harassment with a prison sentence, a fine or both.