|Male students were filmed jeering and wolf-whistling as a blonde woman walked across Cairo University campus - with a campaigner claiming they went on to try and undress her|
Cairo University students reportedly tried to rip the clothes off a blonde woman as she walked across the campus, sparking outrage across Egypt.
The unnamed woman, who was wearing a long-sleeved pink top and fitted black jeans, was recently filmed being abused by a large group of male students as she made her way through the university, one of the country's largest.
The men, some of whom were reportedly law students, went wild, wolf-whistling and jeering as she hurried to get away from them.
Fathi Farid, a member of the ‘I saw harassment’ anti-sexual harassment group, said male students had verbally attacked the woman and attempted to undress her, according to AFP.
University dean Gaber Nassar said the student's outfit, which he described as ‘a bit unconventional,’ led to the harassment, quickly adding that he was not justifying the incident.
‘This girl entered the university wearing an abaya (loose cloak) and then took it off in the faculty, and appeared with those clothes, that caused, in reality… the incident,’ Nassar said on private Egyptian channel ONTV. He said university guards turn away students who show up at campus dressed inappropriately.
‘The student's mistake does not justify what the (other) students did,’ he added.
Most of Cairo University's female students wear jeans and tops and avoid revealing clothes, and many wear the traditional Islamic headscarves, as do the majority of Egypt's women.
Nassar later wrote on Twitter that he was misunderstood and that he was not blaming the student for the incident.
‘I assure that this is not true and I apologise for the misunderstanding and I repeat that those who (harassed the girl) will be severely punished,’ he wrote.
Mr Farid added: ‘The worst is that people always find justification for the harassment and blame it on the victim.’
Nassar ‘should be interrogated and expelled, investigations into the incident should start immediately’, women's rights activist Mariam Kirollos wrote on her Twitter account.
Several popular talk-shows covered the incident.
‘A girl is naked, does it mean someone should jump on her?’ television host Amr Adib asked in disbelief, during his show on the privately-owned Orbit channel.
More than 99 per cent of women in Egypt have been subjected to a form of harassment, according to a study carried out in 2013 by UN Women.
Women report that they are harassed regardless of whether they are dressed in conservative Islamic veils or Western-style clothing.
In 2013 there were reports of premeditated and state-backed sex attacks on female protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault (OpAntiSh), set up to rescue victims from the Square received 19 reports of group sexual assaults, six of which resulted in hospitalisation, while the worst case involved the mutilation of a woman's genitalia with a knife.
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