World Middle East 15 Sep 2019 Row over teen girl&r ...

Row over teen girl’s case in Egypt

AP
Published Sep 15, 2019, 1:51 am IST
Updated Sep 15, 2019, 1:51 am IST
The girl said she tricked her alleged assailant, took away his knife, and stabbed him several times before running away.
An Egyptian activist protests during a demonstration in front of Cairos high court, Egypt. (File pic)
 An Egyptian activist protests during a demonstration in front of Cairos high court, Egypt. (File pic)

Cairo: The prosecution of a 15-year-old girl who killed a bus driver after he allegedly tried to rape her has reignited debate over the treatment of women in Egypt’s legal system, including the practice of virginity tests and blaming victims of sexual violence.

In July, the teenager made headlines after she confessed to police that she stabbed to death a bus driver who she alleged had kidnapped her in a deserted rural area near Cairo and sought to sexually assault her at knife point. The girl said she tricked her alleged assailant, took away his knife, and stabbed him several times before running away.

Shortly after her arrest, the teenager was required to undergo a virginity test, an invasive procedure that rights groups say in itself amounts to sexual assault.

Several women’s rights groups have offered legal assistance, arguing for leniency for the teen because she defended herself. They hope that a judge’s ruling in her favor could set an important legal precedent and help challenge what they view as a deep-seated misogynistic culture of blaming female victims rather than male attackers.

“This case reveals the dualism in Egyptian society,” said Intissar Saeed, president of the Cairo Foundation for Law and Development.   

...