Egyptian women hold national flags during a protest against former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt, 08 June 2012. Image Credit: EPA

Cairo: Egyptian authorities have said surveillance cameras will be installed in the nation’s major streets and squares in a bid to curb the growing rate of sexual harassment cases.

“The cameras will detect cases of harassment as a step to show images of the offenders on television stations and websites,” state-run media quoted an unnamed official at the ministry as saying.

The move comes ahead of Eid Al Adha which starts on Friday. The festival in recent years has seen an increase in incidents of harassment, mainly in shopping malls and outside cinemas.

The problem is believed to have worsened in recent months due to a security breakdown that hit Egypt following the revolt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

Foreign reporters covering mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have said they experienced harassment and groping by mobs.

The state-run National Council for Women said it would launch a campaign against sexual harassment.

The council added that it has asked the Ministry of Religious Endowments, which is in charge of mosques, and the Church to address the issue in their sermons.

Female activists earlier this month held a protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo demanding President Mohammad Mursi to issue a law toughening penalties against harassment.

According to a recent study released by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights, a non-governmental group, 83 per cent of Egyptian women and 98 per cent of foreign female visitors have experienced one or various forms of harassment in the country.

Around 50.5 per cent of the local women and 76.3 per cent of the foreigners surveyed in the study said their harassment experiences have affected their confidence in others.