On 11 January, the Egyptian Council for Women’s Rights (ECWR) filed a complaint to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation against television commentator Yasmin Ezz, averring that Ezz’s rhetoric promotes violence against women. In response, the National Council for Women (NCW) followed up with an official statement.
Within its statement, the NCW “announce[d] its rejection and deep dissatisfaction with the abusive content” presented on Ezz’s daily segment on MBC Egypt, Kalam el-Nas (‘Talk of the People’).
Ezz, who is a polarising figure in Egyptian media spheres, has continually been accused of inflammatory speech that calls on women to accept violence and degradation at the hands of men.
Her take on hyper-traditional, misogynistic gender roles has earned her both fame and notoriety, with the NCW allegeding that Ezz’s speech “is insulting and reactionary, and includes […] the normalisation of insulting and beating wives by husbands.”
According to the NCW statement, Ezz “takes advantage of individual cases circulated on social media to normalise domestic violence, spreading ideas that destroy the Egyptian family—the pillar of society.”
The statement continues to stress that this “bullying” is unconstitutional, and conflicts with over 20 articles delineating issues of citizenship and equality, criminalising violence and discrimination, as well as respecting women and preserving their dignity.
According to a 2015 survey conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), NCW and the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), over 7.8 million Egyptian women are victims of all forms of violence, perpetrated by significant others, or strangers in public spaces.
Despite laws being put in place to protect women from such violence, the ECWR has reported that these laws are often not common knowledge among citizens and authorities; this lack of learnedness has led to a lack of reporting, a lack of enforcement, and/or lenient sentencing for those convicted.