Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Relationship of veiling and harassment explored in Post piece

I found this piece in the Washington Post about veiling and gender-based harassment to be interesting.

Written from Cairo, the article starts with an anonymous e-mail circulating in the country which urges women to veil themselves so as to not be the subject of unwanted male attention. The e-mail compares women to candy - the veiled woman wrapped and ready to eat, the unveiled, unwrapped and covered with flies.

Egytptian women of different ages are interviewed stating that they believe the veiling actually increased harassment. Egyptian men are interviewed as stating that the women bring it on themselves and are flattered by the attention, which studies report happens to 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign visitors.

There is one brief mention of religion, and I thought it was interesting that the article explored veiling as a cultural issue as well as a religious one.

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