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Egyptian Lawyer: It's a 'national duty to rape' girls who wear ripped jeans

A conservative Egyptian attorney sparked outrage when he said that it is a 'patriotic duty to sexually harass' and a 'national duty to rape' women who wear revealing clothing, such as ripped jeans. (Image credit: Laura/Flickr)

Nabih al-Wahsh, a conservative Egyptian lawyer, sparked outrage after making comments about sexually harassing and raping women during a TV show panel discussion regarding a potential prostitution law.

"Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?" the lawyer said on Al-Assema earlier this month. He added: “I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her.”

Egypt’s National Council for Women subsequently reported its intent to file a complaint against the television station and implored other media to eschew such individuals who speak about women in violent terms.

“All the members of the council denounce and decry this statement that explicitly promotes rape and sexual harassment,” it said in a statement.

The attorney's remarks are a reminder of the situation many Egyptian women face:

A 2008 study found that 83 per cent of Egyptian women said they had been sexually harassed and 53 per cent of men blamed women for “bringing it on themselves”.

This is not Mr. al-Wahsh's first public denouncement of women, as he previously took issue with allowing women to serve as judges:

He said: “If we let a woman become a judge, why shouldn't she become Sheik of Al-Azhar? Why shouldn't she become the Mufti? Why don't we all just go to Hell?! Will she issue me a fatwa while she is menstruating?!”

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