All visitors to Egypt, whether they are female or male, receive a great deal of attention/hassle from the Egyptians. Sometimes this attention is unwanted and offensive. Women are sometimes seen as soft targets. It can wear even the most experienced traveller down after some days of relentless hassle. Many travellers still feel safer in Cairo than they do in their own cities. This is no different for single female travellers or groups of women travelling without male companions. 

Some attention directed toward female travellers can be offensive and/or obscene. "Accidental" gropings, staring, and 'brushing' happens. Respectable Egyptian men wouldn't be interested in groping or verbal harassment as it is as offensive a thing to do in Egypt as it would be in other countries around the world. Travellers should be aware that sexual harassment is a major problem in Egypt for Egyptian women.  Unusually, foreign women in Egypt have had a better chance of reporting and getting a police response to complaints.  Most foreign women are used to having sexual harassment treated seriously and have protection under the law in their home countries. Egyptian women do not have these basic rights and are campaigning to make the streets safer.  

Should a groping happen, yell and make a scene, escalate, over-react, raise your voice. Alert others, as they are very likely to help. React very strongly and summon the police, if you feel the situation warrants such action. Most people in the street fear police brutality. Tourists have been highly valued and bad press reports can affect visitor numbers. Remember this and use it to your advantage.

A lot of unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the female traveller has the right attitude. Some women have found that it doesn't matter what they wear - they still receive unwanted comments, stares and attention.  There is no need to be completely covered but understanding the very conservative culture of Egypt helps ro evaluate what to wear, and when.

Things considered innocent at home can be considered both risque and flirtatious in Egypt. Innocent tactile gestures between men and women are viewed differently in Egypt. Egyptian men do not walk around touching Egyptian women, and even a friendly hand on or around the shoulder is crossing the line. Bear this in mind if you feel remotely uncomfortable and protest at the intrusion. There is a risk that the Egyptian man will try and take it to the next level  if you politely give him the benfit of the doubt .  If the female traveller allows the friendly hand, she might unconsciously invite much more. Don't think for a second that this is decent behaviour to an Egyptian, it is not.

It is best to react with an immediate, "Don't touch me please?'' and make sure you get a genuine apology. Take a step or two away from the man and over-react ("What is your problem, I don't need to be touched thank you"). You don't have to say it in a harsh or unfriendly way, just be determined, firm and polite. Behaviour like this commands more respect than the average traveller realises, and establishes the correct boundaries.

Friendly chit-chat between the opposite sexes, which is completely innocent at home can be seen the complete opposite way in Egypt. The friendly bar-man, front-desk guy or pool-boy,  may perceive fliendliness as flirtatious, and an invitation to more. There is a chance the female traveller will miss out on some interesting conversations with  friendly and mean-no-harm people, but it is best to keep the relationship with male staff on a professional level. Just a few words can change the whole situation and make it into something the female traveller never had thought.

Both men and women will be asked about their marital status, name, whether they have kids or not, their age and so on. That is private business and not something travellers are obliged to tell any staff, local guides or people on the street. For female travellers on their own, much hassle can be minimized by simply saying that you are married, whether it is true or not. Often a ring on the right finger is enough.

Female travellers should wear an air of aloofness and being a little "cold" when out and about in the towns and cities of Egypt. Yes, there is a risk you will feel impolite and rude, but this has to happen until the culture of the hassle towards you changes. If you're a good judge of character you will know how to deal with them. Some people find ignoring cat calls and comments may help, others find 'giving it back' or being agressive or loud gets attention and quick respect.  You will find out what works for you.  It may be helpful to read a little online about cultural differences and the current climate.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7514567.stm

http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/...node/...