An Egyptian Student Has Been Blamed For Her Own On-Campus Abuse

The unnamed woman made a 'mistake' by wearing colourful clothes, university president says...

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by Sophie Wilkinson |

Warning: this story is so effed up you might need to go throw something at your screen halfway through. An Egyptian student has been blamed for her own abuse after she was sexually harassed on campus by a group of men. Goaded by the group as she walked through Cairo University, she was also filmed by onlookers, who uploaded the footage to social media.

After being escorted off campus by security (yep, she was the one escorted off campus), the university’s president, Dr Nasser Gaber told a talkshow that it had all happened because of the clothes she was wearing. ‘We don’t require a uniform here but our clothes should be within the tradition of our society,’ Dr Naber told OnTV. ‘The girl’s mistake doesn’t justify what happened to her at the hands of those students. We will find out who is guilty – whether the girl or the [other] students – and we are going to punish them with the proper punishment, which might be expulsion from the university.’

Weird, that. We’d have thought sexual harrasment is the fault of the group of men harassing her – rather than the fact she wasn't wearing the abaya? (BTW, not that it should even matter, but if you really need to know what the student was wearing to incite the abuse she got, it was a yellow headscarf, a pink top and black trousers.)

Women’s rights groups are livid about the woman’s treatment. ‘I find it insanely appalling that the head of arguably the most important university in Egypt has said that her clothes were to blame. It highlights one of the things that is wrong with this society, which blames the victim for what happened,’ Soraya Bahgat, a founder of Tahrir Bodyguards, a group set up to rescue women from sexual assaults during protests, told The Guardian.

This incident, and the fact there needs to be a dedicated group stopping political protestors from attacking women, is more than just depressing. It's making us question whether the Arab Spring really is making women's lives any better?

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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