A mother and grandfather have been arrested after the alleged rape and murder of a 2-year-old girl in Egypt.
The 59-year-old grandfather, who has been identified only as Faraj, reportedly took the young girl out of her mother’s arms as she slept and sexually assaulted her, according to Emirates 24/7.
The 23-year-old mother, identified as Merfat, reportedly discovered what had happened and drowned the baby in a bucket of water in order to avoid a scandal in the small, conservative town of Sohag.
Both adults were reportedly arrested, the mother on murder charges and the grandfather on charges of rape.
Egypt is reported to be the worst country in the Arab world for women, according to information released by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2013, Reuters reports.
According to the data, women in Egypt frequently face harassment, sexual violence and human trafficking, as well as female genital mutilation. 99.3 percent of women in the country are reportedly subject to sexual harassment, and 91 percent of the female population experience genital mutilation.
Additionally, the data reported that only 63 percent of women in Egypt are literate.
Egypt’s conservative culture reportedly teaches women and girls that being a victim of sexual assault is shameful, The New York Times reports.
Human Rights Watch has called for a legal definition of rape and sexual assault to curb what it called a “plague of sexual harassment and assault” in Egypt. The HRW has also called on Egypt’s government to establish a support system for survivors of sexual assault, including adequate medical and psychological care.
According to Amnesty International, women in Egypt also face problems like sexual mob attacks, where women have been groped, stripped naked and dragged through the streets or beaten with sticks. The human rights organization said that police in the country have not done enough to protect women from such attacks.
One such attack occurred in Tahir Square, located in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. A controversy erupted when a female news anchor laughingly suggested that people in the square were just having fun — that anchor was suspended after the network received a large backlash.
Almost half of women in Egypt have reportedly experienced domestic violence, with survivors saying that spouses had beaten, burned, or locked them inside against their will. Amnesty calls support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence “quasi-nonexistent.”
Several women and girls have also reported misconduct by authorities, saying that they experienced sexual violence while being arrested. One woman was reportedly forced to lie down while she was whipped as other prisoners looked on. In addition, pregnant women were reportedly forced to wear handcuffs during labor.
Sources: Emirates 24/7, The New York Times, Reuters, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty international / Photo Credit: Aaron Stout/Flickr