Rate Of Assaults In Cairo Have Egyptian Women Fighting Back

Cairo (AP) — Egyptian women are growing increasingly angry and militant as they deal with one of the unintended consequences of the Arab Spring: an epidemic of sexual assault that law enforcement has failed to contain.

The backlash, which includes self-defense courses for women and even threats of violent retaliation, is fueled by ultraconservative Islamists who suggest that women invite assault by attending anti-government protests where they mix with men.

At marches against sexual harassment in Cairo, women have brandished kitchen knives in the air. Stenciled drawings on building walls depict girls fighting off men with swords. Signs threaten to “cut off the hand” of attackers.