Lara Logan's ordeal: Sexual harassment isn't uncommon in Egypt

Logan faced an ugly side of Egypt that Egyptian and foreign women here are all too familiar—and fed up—with. What makes it all the more tragic is that it happened at a time when many here were celebrating women’s mass participation in the protests, and their sense that they had reclaimed the streets.

The reaction here to the attack on Logan has been consternation. “Lara Logan, I apologize sincerely with all my heart,” reads an online petition being circulated Thursday. “To every girl, woman, mother harassed, I apologize sincerely with all my heart. To my mother nation Egypt, I apologize sincerely with all my heart. And I promise you all that I will try the very best that I can to bring an end to this, in the quest to have our sisters ‘Walk Free.'”…

Sometimes, though, harassment can be truly frightening. In 2006, online activists posted videos of women being chased by crowds of men on the streets of Downtown Cairo during the Eid festival. Even as former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak downplayed what happened, the videos caused a scandal and launched a national debate. Harassment has become a high-profile social issue here—whether because attacks are increasing, or awareness is, remains unclear. Just last month, Egyptian cinemas screened a new and much-talked-about movie about sexual harassment.

A survey released in 2008 by the Center for Women’s Rights found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women had experienced harassment.