Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard”

Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard”

An Egyptian man walks past anti-sexual harassment graffiti. One of the tags states “Be a man and protect her.”

“I can no longer walk – or even drive – anywhere without receiving a dirty comment or without feeling scared that I may be attacked at any moment.”  Those were the comments of one female university graduate on life as a woman in Egypt.

“It’s disgusting and makes me feel like I am walking around naked!” said another female who happens to be veiled. “The abuse impacts all women of Cairo. Whether you are wearing the hijab, the niqab, or whether you are not veiled…women are harassed no matter what!”

This is the sexual terrorism that women across Egypt go through each day. Statistics released reveal that more than 90% of Egypt’s women – regardless of the neighborhood they live in – have encountered sexual harassment: grand-mothers, mothers, daughters – no one is off limits.

While driving in the relatively ‘upscale’ Heliopolis, I noticed a bunch of youth who had stopped their car and started verbally abusing a woman – in her 20s – who simply turned her face away and hurried quickly to a nearby store.

The attitude towards women in society has deteriorated over the past few decades – with sexual harassment getting worse post-revolution. Over the past few weeks, sexual harassment has marred protests at both Tahrir Square an at the Presidential Palace – with reports of women being surrounded by groups of men who then proceed to rip off their clothes and brutally violate their bodies.

An anti-sexual harassment group, Op Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault that was created to protect females from protest zones, shared the following testimonial of a female who was attacked on the 25th of January 2013:

All I remember is hands all over my body, grabbing under the layers of pullovers I was wearing, touching my breasts, opening my bra. More hands on my back and legs, my pants being pulled down. I was trying not to lose balance and not to lose my purse with my phone inside. My empty hand tried to pull my pants back up when I felt fingers inside my ass and shortly after in my vagina. I dropped my purse and pulled up my pants again, or I tried at least. Then more penetration with fingers from the front and the back. I tried to see the end of circle of men, but saw rows and rows of men surrounding me, all pushing towards me. I panicked, and was pushed aside. I remembered my purse, reached to the ground, picked it up and fell on the ground. With one hand I was hanging onto the purse; with the other I tried to pull myself up. Men’s hands were still on my body and somebody penetrated my vagina again with his hands. I had successfully got up. At that point I remember sounds again and I remember me beginning to shout for help. One man, a few meters away recognized the situation and moved towards me in the middle of maybe forty men, maybe more. He shouted and hit some of the men around me in order to reach me. When I could reach his hand, I simply handed him my purse and grabbed his arm. Then I just hugged the stranger and told him to help me. From behind, my pants were still be pulled down, hands everywhere.

Disgustingly, certain officials, radicals, and sexual predators have blamed women on such attacks. Today, the Interior Minister’s Undersecretary blamed women’s attire and lack of modesty. This is similar to what one man interviewed by the BBC stated: “It’s the way girls dress that makes guys come on to them. The girls came wanting it – even women in niqab.”

Yet, after many years of silence women are finally standing up for their rights – calling for equality and above all, justice.

Egyptian women protesting during a recent anti-sexual harassment protest.

During the Anti-Morsi protests in December 2012, more women than men converged outside the Presidential Palace to call for the rejection of a constitution that would lead to unequal rights for women. One woman, who held a sign stating “The voice of women IS the revolution” said that women are no longer afraid of expressing their frustrations with the lack of equality in society.

Today, global protests are set to take place outside Egyptian embassies, calling for an end to sexual harassment in Egypt. The protests – which are starting at the same time (5pm local time) as one in Cairo – aim to shed light on the abuse of Egyptian women and to pressure both the government and the international community to do more.

Egyptian women are risking their safety by marching on Egypt’s streets and demanding to be noticed. Despite the risks and potential of being attacked, one female protester told me “I will be protesting because I want to be treated like a human being.  The goal of these harassers is to scare us – but we will not be silenced anymore.”

EgyptianStreets now has a Facebook page! Click here to like and support!

Hot air balloon crash kills 19 foreign tourists in Luxor
Revolution 2.0?

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Pingback: lowest price auto insurance()

  • Pingback: xt5m8ct4ykwk7rdywx8t54w5ctxsdf()

  • Pingback: cmv49wyn6vectn84wv5tect45fc5()

  • Pingback: xcn5bsn5bvtb7sdn5cnvbttecc()

  • Pingback: ccn2785xdnwdc5bwedsj4wsndb()

  • Pingback: Nőként élni Egyiptomban: tényleg annyira tragikus? | Magyar lány Kairóban()

  • Reblogged this on http://www.visa-facile.com.

  • Reblogged this on Following Indigo.

  • Anonymous

    Many Egyptian women are abused and mistreated by their husbands.. If you don’t obey them they will beat you or threaten to beat you. Shame on all Egyptian Men. Egyptian women are a lot more intelligent than the men. The Egyptian women should be running the country.

  • I think this is a problem that all women around the world face, and it all comes out more aggressive in environments where there is a lack of security and of course EQUALITY.


  • I visited Egypt in 2005 and found nothing to object to (as a tourist at least). When I read this account now, I feel nothing but revulsion and disgusted.

    The solution to harassment is not in covering up women – there’s no end to it, considering the bloody perverts are lusting after babies, (you must have read the fatwa by the Saudi cleric that calls for a baby veil). The answer is to punish the perpertrators to make an example out of them. In fact, known offendors should be chemically castrated!

  • These Egyptian women are so brave and powerful to stand up and fight to overcome the horrendous things they endure. I can’t help feeling useless at this side of the world..what can we do from here to support the women of Egypt? This is a battle they shouldn’t have to fight alone.

    • Thank you for feeling the need to do something, regardless of the distance.
      The best thing I would recommend is just trying to raise awareness – whether it be through writing, campaigning, or just supporting those (in Egypt) who are actively trying to change the situation.

      Today, when a child is starving or when women are being abused, politicians remain silent. Making the abuse of women – not just in Egypt – an issue at the top of their agenda is how change can best be achieved. It is what the women of Egypt are currently trying to do. I am sure your active support of their cause would mean a lot to the millions of abused Egyptian women.

  • My heart aches for Egyptian women. Keep posting.

  • Reblogged this on Blog My Life Away and commented:
    It is shocking to hear that stories like this are real, women aren’t viewed as equal in all parts of the world.. even in 2013.

  • The situation is horrible for women, particularly when most Egyptian men wouldn’t see any need for change. Jumpers won’t prevent sexual abuse; leotards or lycra bike shorts would be harder to penetrate. These men are raping women and brutalising their own society

  • marycheshier

    Reblogged this on How 2 Be Green and commented:
    Great article!

  • Pingback: On My Reading Desk This Week (02/10/13 – 02/16/13) | Word Vomit()

  • Pingback: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard” | Ramblings Over a Cup of Green Tea()

  • Reblogged this on LiFe & aLl It'S cOLouRs.

  • Reblogged this on AraBelle!.

  • william wallace

    Be it boyfriend or brother or husband or father or grandad
    if the female is not respected by the male /then she should
    take appropriate action giving offender an sound spanking
    the offended being bent over a chair or table /thus the then
    female with the aid of cane or belt should give the offender
    the needed strokes as nessessery across (bared buttocks)
    of course one should keep in mind the aim is in teaching a
    lesson / not that of committing acts of brutality / thus let the
    strokes be measured /that they do not draw blood or cause
    severe bruising /thus be measured when giving punishment.

    It may be with some boyfriends as husbands one spanking
    is not enough in their getting the message thus a spanking
    may have to be repeated on a regular basis / if there to be
    a improvement in their behaviour. If one lacks the strength
    to give the necessery punishment / then ask female friends
    to aid in the punishment / thus that a sound spanking given.

  • Reblogged this on mailmanslens and commented:
    After reading this post and digesting it, I have decided to reblog it. Not only is this of utmost importance to women living in Egypt right now, but also for the women who are not even born as of yet who WILL live there. I found the conversational debate of did it happen or not very disturbing. Is the threshold for sexual harassment penile penetration? Has the burden of proof been tossed back to the person who has been harassed and molested? Also, in the current regime, is a women able to report such an occurrence or would they face additional harassment from the authority who is supposed to be protecting ALL persons, not just the males in a society. I can only reference the American female reporter that suffered the same type of sexual abuse from a group of men when she was reporting at a protest.

  • Pingback: The ‘Epidemic’ of Sexual Harassment—and Rape—in Morsi’s Egypt | The Counter Jihad Report()

  • Reblogged this on Elliot Claire London.

  • Reblogged this on an equal mind and commented:
    I very rarely reblog, but this is beautiful

    • Thank you – you have a really interesting blog as well!

  • mkesling63

    You are going to tell me that this happened and you were not penetrated by one penis. I would have to call you a liar.

    • First of all, I am a man. Secondly, you clearly didn’t read the article properly as it states that it is a testimonial from a female that was taken from an Anti-Sexual harassment group.

      • mkesling63

        I believe this is female BS. Stories like this are from women that do not handle men well at all. Anti-Sexual Groups that mean business do not behave this way or gain effective propaganda this way. Watching women take advantage of sexual harassment complaints, I have no use for this here. Being a female it is embarrassing to the female gender and makes me angry.
        Now does it matter who wrote it?

        • If you don’t believe any of the above actually happens on a daily basis, then go ahead and go on Egypt’s street’s, interview women, go to protests, and find out for yourself – prove me wrong.

          Just FYI: 20,000 women and girls are raped each year in Egypt – that’s around 50 a day.Is it still BS?

          • mkesling63

            Provide me with facts not sensation and I might listen. If it is a matter of cultural communication breakdown, then say so without the drama. There is no defending either behavior here. Unless communicated to authority there is no helping it either.

            Yes. It is till BS to me. You want help here, then learn how to communicate it without the drama. Until it is communicated without drama then it remains that a drama.

          • brownieboxblog

            Wow. Where do you even live ?! I’m from Lebanon, and I walk to work everyday… countless of men give dirty looks and comments when I walk by. I see the way they look at girls and women, and it disgusts me. But there is nothing I can do about it if I protest alone. Why don’t I feel that way when I’m walking down the street of a European or American city? Why do Arab countries feel so unsafe when I am walking or driving a car without a man right by my side?
            I am with the uprising of women in the Arab world, and our voices should be heard everywhere! Enough is enough!

          • mkesling63

            There is no crime in the way people look at people. To even suggest that it has to do with sex means you are a very dangerous person, accusing before you know and I would worry more about you having voice in the law before anything else. What you just put in print is about as catastrophic “Please take me thinking” I have ever heard.

            I understand women are oppressed but don’t take it out on the innocent.

            I live in the USA born raised in LA the men here want and don’t want sex the same as there and in every other country too. If you are afraid of being shot, then you have issue. That may happen there more then the look or cat call anywhere else. Bullets the law can handle mind reading somebody’ looks the law ignore and your feelings get hurt. In fact, I probably had more of a chance or just as much getting shot in LA has you do. Yours do it in uniform more then ours did. Police are catching up though.

            If you are getting these looks everywhere Look to your own dress or take a taxi. Obviously you like it and like bitching about trivia more then everything else. Yes I am a looker woman too.

            This really pisses me off. Make a law against emotion in looking at somebody, making noise while in public. Could you ask the law to be degraded anymore by some idiot male that wants too then expect the law to work and be respected and give civil rights instead of take them?

          • brownieboxblog

            “Look at your own dress”? Even the most respectable veiled women are being harassed, I don’t think that’s normal. And “take a taxi”? Do you know how unsafe they are in this country? Well I don’t think so. It’s very hard for foreigners to understand what Arab women go through daily. And if you read the post correctly, it’s not just how men look at us, it’s how they verbally assault every single woman on the streets and in their cars. There is clearly no respect towards us anymore, even the law does not protect our rights as women.

          • mkesling63

            Excuse me but that makes it worse. Does curiosity translate in your language.

          • Lucy Marx

            Mkesling63 – I am a woman living in Egypt. I’ve lived in four other countries (Europe and Asia) so I have a basis for comparison with other countries and how sexual harassment varies in each one. This Egyptian Streets article is extremely accurate in terms of how it describes the sexual violence epidemic here (and yes, it is an epidemic). I would like to thank Egyptian Streets for the great work they do in speaking out about these issues and supporting women’s rights groups working to counter them.

            ALL women living in Egypt face sexual harassment on a daily basis. Every woman has a story. And yes, it is more relentless, more pervasive and more widespread than anything I have ever encountered elsewhere. It doesn’t mean that every Egyptian man harasses women. But many do.

            Before you dismiss this article as BS, could you tell me if you’ve ever visited Egypt? Walked around here? Tried to live here? If so, and you have a radically different experience of being here, as a woman, please share it with me; I’d be interested to hear it.

            If not, you might want to open your mind up a fraction, and listen to the experiences of women who do live here. Trust me, we know what we’re talking about.

            Seriously, get a clue.

          • It is one thing to be “Hit On” in a country
            that allows you press charges.

            thugs know just how far they are allowed
            to go, especially in public.

            In a society that already oppresses women?

            People opposed to women’s rights may have
            added malice – it could be personal to them.

            If the law doesen’t protect women to the
            extent that protects them here in the states,
            The thugs could press their luck much

            It is important to understand that this
            matter needs attention – exagerated or
            Not –

            Women are a significant percentage
            of the people in any society and must
            be respected by the goverment that
            wishes to remain stable.

            Reports of injustice should be taken with
            a grain of salt, but always investigated and
            never ignored.

          • mkesling63

            press charges all you like. Do they get prosectued? There are so many laws to prosectute under this issue. The REAL issue is they never do. So the problem to solve is not in deamnding another law it is getting all of them prosectued. Look to how many laws your country has on the same thing that this can be prosecuted under.

        • Anonymous

          Wake up and smell the coffee. Have you been there?? It is not safe for a woman to be alone in the streets in Egypt.

          • mkesling63

            Nor Los Angeles or the Bronx in NewYork but we survive it. Egypt is not the only place in the world.

        • Anonymous

          How dare you accuse these women of not being able to handle men. You are a disgrace to the female race..

          • mkesling63

            HAve it your way. Carastrophic thinkers don’t go far with me.

        • Idiots don’t have sane reasons bonyed “it felt good, man!”, however that translates into Arabic.But your right, how this can help Egypt’s fledgling democracy…But then Jews have been a convenient target for, lo, these many centuries.The idiots clearly don’t realise that if they’d ignore for the past two millenia, there wouldn’t _be_ any Jews. It’s _there_ persecution that aloowed us to collectively survive. Might as well be hung for a sheep as for as for a lamb. I’m blowed if I’m going to do any “as-a-Jew” tricks just for their satisfaction.Heavens, I’m gettoing aggressive these days!

  • Pingback: Outrage – a Response to Freshly Pressed Blog Entitled: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard” | rage_on_ny()

  • Beautiful article. These women are so brave! Equality is so important, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, or religion. Abuse and domestic violence are everywhere, but for it to be so public is frightening. I will continue to watch these women change the world and educate people around me in my tiny piece of the globe.

    • “I will continue to watch these women change the world and educate people around me” – that is precisely what countries like Egypt need: more awareness.

  • Great post right there! I liked it. If you ever want to know about Ocean Sports and Turism visit our site http://www.surfskiesp.com


  • My hand to you for speaking out here, and I would think it equally true for the time to end ‘honor killing’ or the risks and harm of ‘mutilation.’ The time to express concern for woman (whatever age) is come… and the time to stop all persecution (whatever the religion).

  • Reblogged this on NetJulie and commented:
    Incredible how we are abused all around the world…

  • Pingback: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard” « wanghqcn()

  • Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  • for a country we have admired for the ancient knowledge and civilisations, these kind of men disgrace it. It is time for the rest of the world to help these women. we will stand with them from where we are with our hearts and make the public more aware, This is the 21st century for heavens sake, what gives anyone the right to treat another human like this? it makes me feel sick.

  • “It’s the way girls dress that makes guys come on to them. The girls came wanting it – even women in niqab”

    evil brainless evil morons.
    These arent men theyre a fucking disgrace to humanity.

  • Pingback: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard” « Today,s Thought()

  • Every story I hear about the terrifyingly vile things happening to women all over the world makes me cringe even more in disgust than before. It is truly so sad how the world has devolved in our treatment of and attitude towards women. How on earth did it get this bad? Well done to all the women (and the men) who are standing up and fighting for the right to be treated like a human being. I am seeing posts about this every where today – very inspiring! Thanks for sharing such a great post 😀

  • william wallace

    In seeing the power and weath gained by the few
    over the many IN HAVING THE ONE GOD as was
    example with jewish people it followed all western
    nations but jumped on the one God bandwaggon.

    With western nations they did’nt could not accept
    the. jewish concept of God that proclaimed jewish
    people Gods choosen above all / western nations
    regarded such a concept as halbaked nonsense
    they regarded as laughable not taken as serious.

    However they realized the importance in power &
    wealth gained having a one God concept / not in
    continuing that of worshiping their MANY GODS
    thus change needed. The answer they needed
    was found in their placing such christian claimed
    (son of God *Jesus) at the centre of their worship
    then in blaming the jews for killing the son of God
    thus replacing western nations as Gods choosen
    not the jews whom claimed being / gods choosen.

    However the biggest error was made by western
    nations in combining jewish teachings unto their
    more modern version in worshiping the one God…

    One can understand the error / western nation
    were focused in gaining power / they gave little
    concern to the result of religious brainwashing
    even so such religious brainwashing springing
    forth from jewish scripture it’s totally halfbaked
    religious attitude towards woman where it t’was
    wrongly claimed woman was to blame in that of
    mans eviction from heaven ( heaven being an
    fictional place claimed by jews in being beyond
    the clouds the place where God an Jesus live)
    the religious nonsensical teaching being that
    woman in lust of the flesh tempted man unto
    sexual binding) that God but regarded sexual
    binding as a grave SIN thus man and woman
    for their SIN were evicted from heaven unto
    planet Earth where woman for her SIN will be
    an servant unto man she being of less value
    than his goats sheep his camel or be his dog.

    Thus for her SIN woman it be written shall be
    in pain as suffer at the hands of man, on the
    death of such human frame her /soul / spirit
    will be transported unto a place called HELL
    where she be cast into an fire / thus for her
    her SIN against man as God her future be
    of eternal suffering / no mercy being shown.

    The problem be for muslim women is as was
    for western women / when muslims adapted
    to the one God via the Prophet Muhammad
    they made the same grave error as western
    nations where in their teachings but foolishly
    adapted many of the customs and halfbaked
    beliefs ideas of jewish scripture in regard to
    very misguided attitudes towards the female.

    Once such error being made it was not going
    to be easily undone / as the mind of the male
    finds it the extreme accepting in being wrong
    thus both western woman as muslim women
    having struggled through the centuries that
    they be equal to man deserving equal rights
    such having been an awesome struggle that
    but lasted century after century after century.

    For centuries with western nations CHURCH
    AUTHORITY witheld the ability to read write
    in fearing with a education the people would
    then challenge CHURCH AUTHORITY / they
    feared with education the people would then
    question centuries of religious brainwashing
    thus it be that many many centuries of brain
    development were lost thus it being present
    state of humanity is still Very primitive in it’s
    attitude / where millions being slaughtered
    over the colour of skin /or what beliefs one
    holds / thus bringing pointless ongoing war
    conflicts torture suffering /human slaughter.

    It time humanity came to their senses that
    the world of mind and ideas as beliefs put
    to rest / that in place of mind the brain be
    activated / in bringing true understanding
    of the purpose of creation / that one goes
    beyond ideas and beliefs unto that where
    all experiencing such power of creation in
    not of believing but in knowing the creator
    via very a practical experience that grants
    the clarity of understanding unto the true
    purpose of living /via the gift of human life.

  • Some guys should be dressing up as veiled women and then see if these buggers want to take the chance of feeling up a guy….

    Not sure about weapons regulations there but all the better if the veiled man was armed.

    • A few cases of men being ‘punished’ for mistreatment would definitely send out a message.

  • I’m saddened to hear your story. Change is coming and I believe that women’s rights will be eventually be respected in your part of the world. Your courage in sharing your story will certainly assist in bringing attention to issue of equal rights not just in Egypt but throughout the Middle-east where women’s reform is disparately needed.

  • That story is absolutely horrendous — apart from the knight in shining armour who braved a crowd to save her.

  • Reblogged this on evrylilearthquake and commented:
    as a woman with interests in both unicef and amnesty international, this is revolutionary.. so amazing to see the protests.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. It gave me goosebumps to realize how much these women suffer on a day to day basis. I have written certain posts myself about the condition of women in the Middle East because I want to spread awareness about the same. I am glad you wrote this post. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • I am glad you liked the article. The suffering is tragic. I checked out your blog and some of your posts are definitely great! Keep up the great work :)!

      • Thanks for going through my writings as well…It was an honour to have you here 🙂

  • My thoughts are with you. I will do what I can.

  • Pingback: http://egyptianstreets.com/2013/02/12/egyptian_women_sexual_harassment/ | The Defected Muslim()

  • Pingback: Egyptian women: “It’s time for our voices to be heard” | Iyalovesyou's Blog()

  • Though I hate to come across as painting a group of people with the same broad brush; when I read post like this and I think of news stories I’ve heard over the years of “honour killings” where a Muslim family killed a female member for something that wasn’t her fault, I really have to ask what the definition of “honour” is with such people.

    Where is the “honour” in such actions and where do the people taking part in those actions feel they have the right to think they even know what real honour actually is?

    I have to say that legislation is not going to be a complete fix to the problems you’ve outlined in your post; the problem is societal. You can legislate all you like, but if the people are not willing to be introspective, stop and say “What are we doing?!” when they are clearly hurting someone; then I fear very little will change.

    • The honour is gone – the idea of “honour killings” is simply wrong and represents no honour at all: it is in fact, a great shame.

      You are correct in that legislation won’t help: societal change and a change in mentality is what needs to happen.

  • That’s HORRIBLE. I applaud the women who fight back against the injustice being done them. It takes great courage to stand up and fight for anything, but the obstacles they face are unimaginable. I would not wish that kind of treatment on anyone. Equality should be the standard for people everywhere and it’s so sad to see the struggle continue.

  • Oh god! It’s ghastly! I’m shaking just reading it..

  • it is such a shame that the ancient muslim world which supported women’s rights far better than its neighbors(i.e, allowing divorce, etc) now turned into quite a difficult place to live for women. i pray a positive change would come without much obstacles.

  • How women are treated everywhere, in pretty much every country disgusts me. And I feel even more disgusts me even more when men try to blame it on us, the women. Saying that a women wearing a niqab or a burqa can make men “Want it” is ridiculous, has he even seen a women wearing a burqa? It’s impossible to even know if they are women or not! I’m so sorry to read how it is with women in Egypt. I felt horrified when I read how that women was assaulted. I mean, forty men or even more… I can’t even imagine. I wonder if they even had a mother, because someone who did cannot possibly treat women that way.
    But I think that it’ll get better, eventually, with protests.

    • It’s definitely saddening and it does make you wonder “How would you like it if someone did that to your daughter, your sister, your mother, or your grand mother?”

      Hopefully it does get better and that the future is a bright one for the women of Egypt.

  • horribly wrong, and sad. The problem seems very complicated, and I’m not an expert. The men sound like frustrated animals. As an American woman who is thankful for my freedom every day, I’d like to hear of an Egyptian woman come out blazing an automatic rifle from under her dress and blow away some punk ass brats. Our hearts and prayers are with you , sister. Thanks for letting us know.

  • william wallace

    The solution for all people’s male as female
    is to understand the purpose of creation the
    purpose of human life such / achieved in one
    turning their senses inwards /via meditation.

    In turning the senses inward one experiences
    the power of creation /that grants a clarity
    of understanding / all questions be answered.

    Always there be a teacher of teachers whom be
    a aid as guide in one turning unto meditation.

    The present teacher of teachers is Prem Rawat
    Prem having dedicated his life to aid & guide
    all whom reaching such an stage meditation is
    required in an development of growth learning.

    On pc search put (words of peace) or (words of
    peace global) on site a selection of videos in
    which Prem explains meditation as it’s need in
    one going beyond ideas beleifs to that of very
    practical experience of the creator / in one’s
    understanding such purpose of life be that via
    heart and brain comes understanding experience
    that all one’s questions answered in one being
    at peace not beliefs ideas but knowing creator.

  • Omg! This is very disturbing, sad, crazy…I just can’t believe something like that is happening in 21st century.

  • Great to see women fighting back.

  • Reblogged this on ARZcreation.com.

  • keep on fighting. one day you will overcome!

  • Any part of the world that is repressed so harshly will to some extent experience this behavior in addition to other behaviors that are considered intolerable.
    A shame this is especially when the governments hide behind religion as a means to justifying letting abuse or mistreatment occur to any human.

  • Reblogged this on Nada Shokeir. .

  • I bet this is a typical occurrence in a freshly freed society, where a sudden lack of authority allows everyone, good and bad, to act out without fear of retribution—like moving away from home for the first time. So heartening to see women, especially those coming from a conservative religious heritage, feel powerful and free enough to demand respect and protection for themselves. It will take time—too long, for some—but it’s good to see the numbers and organization growing.

  • Madame Rashid

    Great post. It’s very unfortunate what is happening around us here. We have groups of male protesters who have no work, no ambition in life, and are poor beyond what we are accustomed to seeing in the west. Tahrir gives many a veil of anonymity to do as they please. Although it is rare, the few rape incidents that have occurred have sparked some deep anger among us. Women are not often treated badly in this culture. On the contrary, I have never seen so much respect and it’s not because I’m a foreigner here. Egyptian women are respected among their own as well. It is in these pockets of activities such as protests, crowds and extreme gatherings that we find such horrible crimes. This is not the Egypt that was, but it is still relatively safe here…if you avoid Tahrir Square. Thank you for posting this topic.

    • Rape is actually more common than we’d like to believe in Egypt, with around 20,000 raped each year – an average of 55 women a day.This shows that the majority of rape/harassment occurs outside “pockets of activities such as protests, crowds, and extreme gatherings.”

      It is true that traditionally, women in Egypt (and other Arab cultures) have held high respect, however that is changing with lack of education and due to poverty.

      • Madame Rashid

        Do you think it has increased after the Revolution? I don’t doubt you at all. In fact, I totally believe you. But since I’m a mom of two young girls living in Egypt, I’d like to be aware of where these incidents occurred, where they generally occurred, and in what time frame they occurred. Were these incidents reported in 2012, for example? Do we have a comparison year to base them on? Usually in our area of Sheikh Zayed and 6th of October, these incidents are not reported on the news or written about in the papers, but they spread like wildfire through word-of-mouth.

  • I AM speechless. I cannot begin to understand why, after all this time, so many men blame women with nonsense such as “well, the way she was dressed; she asked for it.”

    • It was the most disgusting thing I have ever heard – shows so much ignorance.

      • Ignorance, disgust, hatred, etc. I AM still in shock.

  • Thanks for putting this in the spotlight.

  • stand up woman. Be brave.

  • Many years ago, I was taken in by an Egyptian family. The women and girls in that household and in the parts of the society that I moved in were highly respected. Revered, even. Females were treated as the heart of the family, and encouraged to become educated and involved in the community. It is heartbreaking to read of the changes. Why has this happened?

    • May I ask how many years ago “many years ago” was?

      Women in upper/middle-class societies in Egypt are highly respected both within the family and within interactions they make within that society (at a restaurant, shops, cafes, museums, etc.) However, women – regardless of class – are vulnerable once they step outside that “bubble” – for example while casually walking on the streets. It is a problem that seriously escalated in 2006 following the abuse of several women by tens of men. Since then, sexual harassment has continued to rise and has seriously worsened since the revolution. There are many research papers on why this may be (poverty, lack of education, culture), but in the end I believe it falls down to lack of government action, education, and a certain mentality that the radicals have been feeding the population.

      • This was back in the late 70s and just into the 80s. Perhaps I was fortunate to meet such open people, which affected the circles they associated with. Yes, definitely middle class, small business owners. From the myopic perspective of a young teenager, I was oblivious to political unrest at the time.
        I am so sad about what has happened.

  • Reblogged this on Zimdev and commented:
    An equal society where every person is given their respect seems a natural thing, but sometimes situations demand that you fight for your freedom.

  • Reblogged this on aurora morealist and commented:
    Adding my voice once again… this is an epidemic we can actually solve… easily! Why haven’t we??? Aghast that we have the cure in our hands and ignore it to let “abusive cancers” thrive. For my global sisters xo

  • Having worked with victims of domestic violence in Canada in the 90’s, I can tell you that abusers and harassers always FIND some reason to blame the victim(s). It’s the way they get away with it and continue to, if only in their own tiny minds. I am reblogging to add my voice to yours. Stay safe, stay strong and stay you. The more voices we have, the better or it will never ever stop. Shouting loudly for violated women and children everywhere and always will for all innocents and for all my beloved sister friends around the globe xo

    • Not just abusers, but also power-hungry politicians – such as the members of Egypt’s Islamist dominated Shura Council (Upper Parliament) which also recently blamed sexual harassment on women. Thank you for your support and feedback!

      • Yes! That’s what I mean by abusers! ALL of them, high places, low places or no places. If they ever knew the place the suffering women survived, they’d never do/decide what they do. Perhaps they’ll come back next life as a woman. Perhaps by then we may have less of this to contend with. Would that we can dream. Sharing the dream by sharing your blog and my voice as loud as I can.

  • Change needs to come through consistent harsher punishments for violators. Keep safe sisters!

  • Not only in Egypt but in other countries as well where women struggle for basic rights and protections, men from the same country need to speak out more. We rarely hear from them or about them. Young men–political players, athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs–especially should support both more rights for women and changes in behavior for the male peers. Such males may be afraid, but that’s all the more reason why a few prominent male voices can help women a lot.

    • I agree that there should be more support from political players, athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc. Once it starts becoming as highly featured in the media as – for example Gun laws in america – change is bound to happen. A global campaign – with focus on countries that really suffer from the abuse of women (such as Egypt) – could be life-changing for many women.

  • How can these men call themselves Muslims? Most of the restrictions against women came after Muhammad’s death, and all are based on an out-dated belief. Even Muhammad, who had multiple wives, respected every woman he met. Why can’t these men do the same? They need some serious change in Egypt, right now!

    • During the Anti-Morsi protests it was interesting to see that the women who were protesting were not some leftist, liberals. There were women in Niqab/burqa and veiled women too – which shows that the radicals in power do not necesasrily represent the real ‘Islam.’

      During the years following the introduction of Islam, women fought in wars, were politicians, and were very highly respected and equally treated. It is a shame to see how far we’ve come and how certain radicals have defined Islam’s teachings in ways that simply benefit their political agenda.

      • Hopefully someday we can return to the true meaning of Islam, right?

        • It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of dedication. Al-Azhar – Egypt’s top Islamic body – has often attempted to “correct” misconceptions/false information that is spread by radicals, but too often Al-Azhar is criticized and in the past its Grand Sheikhs have received death threats and flurries of insults. Maybe one day though..

  • Very interesting story. I am a man and I believe that all women should be treated with respect, after all without them we would not exist because they are the ones that have given life to us by birth. Worst of all they have to put up with us(men)

  • I know some of these women are being overwhelmed and struggling to even begin to fend off what is happening, but it sounds like time for some/more courses on self-defense.

  • Reblogged this on zbigniewsieraj.

  • Fight back with every means available. Travel in groups, carry some means of defense women must stand together, or become slaves to violence.Only men of intelligence will stand with us, the other fear our equality will make them lesser, no problem they already are the problem is ignorance.

  • Refugee Archives at UEL

    Reblogged this on Refugee Archives Blog.

  • It is despicable how these women are being treated. If it wasn’t for all the brave women who took to the streets calling for Mubarak to step down there wouldn’t have even been a revolution. If it was just men protesting, nothing would have changed.

    It’s sad to think that if Egypt keeps moving toward Islamism, Egyptian women revolutionaries will get betrayed. It would be like it was all for nothing. Hopefully they will continue to stand their ground, along with anti-sexist males to prevent sexism from becoming permanently enshrined in their new constitution.

  • I was in Egypt several years ago and it was an amazing adventure. I fell in love with the people. I came across many strong women and I believe that things will change because of these woman.

  • I admire those who fight to be heard. I agree with the above comment, be safe but stay strong. You were given voices so that you could be heard, let no man take that from you. Continue to push, your voice will carry you to the finish line where your acceptance speach will be spoken, with your voice, for all to hear.

    • Thank you. That is the most important thing: that Egyptians do not forget – or are not afraid to – use their voice. It is our voice that allows change to happen. If silenced, it is very difficult to achieve any change or a better world.

  • I do think that Egyptian women should have their voices heard however please be careful and don’t get yourself in trouble!

  • I do believe that the Egyptian women voices should be heard, but please be careful! I worry about what happens in Egypt when they voice their opinions. Stay safe!

  • It is absolutely disgraceful that women are being treated in this way in Egypt and even more so that it is being claimed that the women are bringing this on themselves, or asking for this abuse due to what they are wearing. It is hard to believe that 90% of women in Egypt have been subjected to such abuse. Having said that, post revolution it seems that women are finally feeling able to stand up for their rights and challenge sexual harassment. This is a positive sign and will be crucial in Egypt’s transition to a democracy.

    • It is definitely inspiring to see women finally standing up for their rights post-revolution. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the revolution was that Egyptians are no longer afraid to speak their mind – they want their voices to be heard!

  • It is so sad to hear about the treatment of women in some countries, but at the same time I am so happy to hear that women are standing up and willing to protest and fight against this unequal treatment of them. It’s unbelievable that in this day and age, some (not all, but some) men feel that they are superior to women and can do what they want to them. Worse yet, is to blame the woman when stuff like this happens.

    Thank you for bringing awareness to what is going on in Egypt and what steps are being taken to change the way things function. Well-deserved FP! 🙂

    • It is indeed great that women across the globe are standing up for their rights and are fighting against the unequal treatment and abuse. However, I believe there is so much that they can do, and that the wider international community and the government itself, need to take more decisive action and respond to the cries of women in Egypt: education, law, religion – all need to be reformed in a way that calls for the respect of women.

      Thank you for your feedback!


More in Feature

‘I Felt Like A Whole New Person’: Stories of Divorced Egyptian Women

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 22, 2018

Famous Assassinations Across Egypt’s History

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 19, 2018

The Egyptian Workers Who Were Erased from History

Luis Carlos BarraganSeptember 14, 2018

Adopting a Plant-Based Diet: a Guide to Eating Green in Cairo

Nour EltiganiSeptember 11, 2018

Doctors in Egypt’s Hospitals Get Beaten Everyday. Who Is to Blame?

Marwan ShalabySeptember 11, 2018

A History of the Mukhabarat

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 3, 2018

Another Egyptian Girl’s Childhood Becomes Victim to Child Marriage

Nour EltiganiAugust 25, 2018

The Story of Sameera: World-Renowned Egyptian Nuclear Scientist

Mirna AbdulaalAugust 12, 2018
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.