Skip to main content

Arabic press review: Egypt's female journalists tackle sexual harassment in the workplace

Also: Yasser Arafat's family disavows widow's statements; thousands of Israelis set to pour into the UAE
UN research estimates that 99 percent of women in Egypt have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment (Reuters)

Egypt's female journalists tackle workplace harassment

Dozens of female journalists in Egypt have issued a statement denouncing sexual harassment in the workplace and demanding action to change the situation.

According to London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the group accused the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate of ignoring an official memorandum on the subject, signed by more than 150 journalists and submitted by them on 27 August.

They reiterated the memorandum's call for the formation of a "permanent committee for women" within the syndicate, designed to combat harassment and sexual violence against female journalists.

Egypt is cracking down on women's freedoms on and offline. But they are fighting back
Read More »

They also demanded an investigation into sexual harassment and assault incidents in the media industry, including recent claims of sexual misconduct by Egyptian investigative journalist Hisham Allam, and asked for "clear mechanisms" to be put in place to protect the identities of those who bring forth such complaints.

The group called on their female colleagues, who represent nearly 40 percent of all journalists in Egypt, to sign the memorandum and adopt their demands. 

Research by the UN in 2013 estimated that 99 percent of women in Egypt had been subjected to some form of sexual harassment at some point in their lifetime.

Despite legislation and civil society efforts to address the problem, surveys have shown that nearly 60 percent of women have been the target of this form of violence in public spaces, and an equal proportion of men have admitted to harassing women in public.

Yasser Arafat's family disavows widow's statements

The family of the late Palestinian Authority (PA) president Yasser Arafat has harshly criticised his widow, Suha, after her recent statements to Israeli and Gulf TV channels attacking the Palestinian leadership and supporting Israel's normalisation agreement with the UAE, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The family, who live in Gaza City, said in a statement: "The irresponsible statements made by Suha Al-Tawil, wife of the late President Yasser Arafat, regarding the political leadership of the Palestinian people, are totally rejected because they are inconsistent with the culture, spirit and morals of the Arafat family." 

The family said that Suha had not obtained approval from Arafat's family to speak on their behalf through the media, and accused her of "using the name of her martyred husband, leader Yasser Arafat, to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, taking advantage of him being a symbol for the Palestinian people". 

The family affirmed its absolute respect for all political decisions issued by all countries, considering them "an internal matter that other countries must not interfere in". 

At the same time, it declared its respect, appreciation and commitment to all decisions issued by the Palestinian leadership, represented by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Thousands of Israelis set to pour into UAE 

Sources in the Tourism Business Union in Tel Aviv have reported that thousands of Israelis have called to reserve seats on Dubai and Abu Dhabi flights, according to a report published by Asharq al-Awsat. The surge follows recent moves to normalise ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Israel's Israir Airlines previously announced it had signed agreements enabling it to start organised and direct tours from Tel Aviv to the UAE from 15 October, while also mentioning ongoing intensive talks with Fly Emirates and Etihad Airways to organise flights to Israel. 

Israel and UAE to sign normalisation deal at White House on 15 September: Reports
Read More »

An Israeli tourism company official described "tempting" tourism package proposals by the Emiratis, such as "a tourism trip including hair planting or plastic surgeries in Dubai".

Such flights currently go to Turkey, but the Emiratis are offering a better price, the Saudi newspaper said. 

Business trips between Israel and the UAE after expected soon, following the signing of their normalisation treaty. 

The UAE has declared that Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be heading an official delegation, including senior officials, to Washington on 15 September for the signing ceremony.

He was invited by US President Donald Trump to participate in the event at the White House, in the presence of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Economic sources quoted an Israeli business delegation, currently visiting the Emirates, as saying that signing the treaty will also expand business relations between Israel and India, considering the latter's strong business relations with the UAE.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye