The BBC Arabic website, under the title “Harassment: The Exposed Secret in the Life of Arab Women Journalists,” presented three harsh experiences of female journalists from different Arab countries, experienced during their careers.
It shed light on a case that is not new, but is now returning to the surface with shocking numbers and high rates, as a recent statistic published by the World Population Review website indicates that about 35% of women around the world have suffered from some form of sexual harassment, and that only 40% ask for help, in fact less than 10% of them resort to the law to obtain justice. In addition, a study published by the American University of Beirut in 2015 entitled “Confronting Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Rampant in the Lebanese Media” indicated that harassment effects the career prospects of about 82 percent of female journalists in Lebanon. Also in Egypt, according to a study conducted by Hanan El-Gendy, a professor of media at Al-Ahram Canadian University in 2015, 85 percent of Egyptian women working in the media field are subject to verbal violence and 64 percent are subject to physical violence. This came in a study entitled “Gender and Media in Egypt,” and the study was based on a questionnaire distributed to journalists of both genders in various media outlets.
Since the exacerbation of the phenomenon of harassment, according to what the BBC reported of these female journalists in Islamic countries, and the increase in its frequency and the enormity of the numbers issued – with the likelihood that they were issued in the context of portraying our societies as being submerged in hidden vice – what women suffer in Arab countries has become a common theme whether in the media or conferences, as well as on social websites. It reveals to us that there are many more stories of harassment that are hidden, either out of fear of shame or risking a professional future. This also triggered and alarmed some of the governments, who are driven by human rights organizations and feminist associations, to seriously search for effective solutions to curb the spread of such vice. But the real dispute and question is over the efficacy of the procedures and solutions that the governments intend to adopt, and whether they are really capable of eradicating such practices from the body of society??
It is certain that what women suffer from harassment in the Arab countries is suffered by women in countries all over the world and in all walks of life, including politics, media, education, military institutions, and medical fields. It is a reality and an expected product in a country where women were given freedom and complete openness according to a secular capitalist system which promotes a culture of the disrespect of women by many men. This is in addition to promoting sexuality in society and considering women a sexual commodity in entertainment, advertisements and other means, and transforming her into a mere object to satisfy the desires of men, and that she must show her charms to the public and mix with men at work, markets and parties in order for the society to accept her, otherwise she would be rejected.
In short, it is a corrupt system that has caused the spread of sexual harassment to an epidemic level that affects girls and women in universities and workplaces, and in the streets, which led to the deterioration of the role of women in the overall advancement of society.
The solution to preventing such a crime is not by changing or amending laws, because they are man-made laws based on misguided, and misguiding Western ideas and concepts, nor by increasing the punishment for the perpetrator because it will not deter him from committing his crime in a reality in which Islam’s view of life is absent, and utilitarianism and interest are instead the set standard…
The actual protection that women are looking for is in a system that restores women‘s rights and status and restores their important role in building the Ummah‘s generations, and this can only be achieved and guaranteed in light of the political system in the Khilafah (Caliphate), which prohibits the sexual exploitation of women for any purpose, and which puts the protection of the dignity of women unequivocally above the pursuit of any financial or material interest. This is in addition to imposing severe punishments for any form of violation against the woman’s dignity, even if one word is uttered against her honour.
Surely, both women and men are in need, in light of the immoral life imposed on them in the Muslim countries today, of the system of Islam that creates tranquility and preserves the dignity of each one of them. So O Allah, prepare for this Ummah a Khilafah Rashidah (rightly-guided Caliphate) upon the method of Prophethood sooner rather than later, indeed, for Allah, that is easy.
Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
Saturday, 06th Rabii’ II 1442 AH
Issue No: 1442 AH / 012