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Women on Tahrir Square in February 2011

How Egypt's Revolution Lifted A Veil On Sexual Violence

The promise of the Tahrir Square protests has been largely unfulfilled. Yet there is some progress in how Egypt faces harassment against women.

CAIRO — Tackling the country's sexual harassment epidemic was never a priority for the crowds that gathered, in 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square. And yet unlike the largely unmet reforms they did demand, the fight against sexual violence is one area in which Egypt really has made strides in recent years. It's been a collateral benefit, in that sense, of the momentum and temporary expansion of public space associated with the revolution.

Research conducted in 2013 by UN Women found that more than 99% of Egyptian women experienced harassment. Without reliable statistics, it's impossible to say with any certainty whether the numbers are any better. What is clear, say people engaged with the cause, is that the state and society as a whole are no longer in complete denial about the problem. There have been moves, they say, toward acknowledging the widespread nature of sexual harassment. There is more sympathy for victims. And steps — flawed as they may be — have been taken toward addressing the issue.

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Street scene last week in Tehran

How Trump Muslim Ban Looks In Iran

PARIS — President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry into the United States of citizens of seven different Muslim-majority countries has prompted outrage both at home and abroad. But the drama comes with extra layers of intrigue and import for one country in particular: Iran.

For the pragmatic government of President Hassan Rouhani, who reached a momentous deal with Trump's predecessor and other Western leaders on Iran's nuclear program, the ban is a clear sign not to expect an easy ride with the new Republican administration. Rouhani was quick Friday to share his reaction on Twitter.

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