(Additional reporting by Emma Batha and Bahaar Joya in London, Heba Kanso in Cairo, Nita Bhalla in Delhi, Beh Lih Yi in Tokyo, Karla Mendes in Sao Paulo, Anastasia Moloney in Bogota, Amédéé Mwarabu in Kinshasa, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths.
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So strengthening the police and courts to effectively investigate, prosecute, convict and punish is key.” In Sao Paulo, women are increasingly using social media to denounce sexual violence, including writer Clara Averbuck, who launched an online campaign in August after she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver.
The first international experts’ poll shows while the Egypt capital ranks worst for danger, Delhi and Sao Paulo are also at the bottom of the heap for sexual harassment and violence.
Women’s rights campaigners in Cairo said traditions dating back centuries made it a tough city, with discrimination rife. Even a simple walk on the street, and they are subjected to harassment, whether verbal or even physical,” said high-profile Egyptian journalist and women’s rights campaigner Shahira Amin.
“We’re still operating under a conservative country and it’s hard to take any radical progressive steps in the area of women and women’s laws,” said Omaima Abou-Bakr, co-founder of the Cairo-based campaign group Women and Memory Forum. Delhi and Sao Paulo emerged as the worst cities when respondents were asked if women could live there without the risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks or harassment.
The fatal gang rape of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012 led to a wave of public protests and jolted many in the world’s second most populous country out of apathy over the treatment of women, forcing the government to toughen penalties for sex crimes.
Since then a spike in media reports, government campaigns and civil society programmes, have increased public awareness of women’s rights and emboldened victims to register abuses.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey asked experts in women’s issues in 19 megacities how well women are protected from sexual violence, and from harmful cultural practices, and whether they have access to good health care, finance and education.“We’re still operating under a conservative country and it’s hard to take any radical progressive steps in the area of women and women’s laws,” said Omaima Abou-Bakr, co-founder of the Cairo-based campaign group Women and Memory Forum.