Saturday, June 29, 2013

Glimpse of Egyptian Women's Rights Movement

Sarah Abdelrhaman is an activist for women's rights in Egypt. I first saw one of her videos more than two years ago and was taken by her bright, sassy manner. She posted several videos on You Tube with subtitles but when it took too much time and trouble she stopped and I lost interest (I don't understand Arabic).

I was reminded of her this afternoon by another video and checked her channel again, finding to my surprise that her videos now have translations, either in the description or in the form of subtitles on screen.

This appears to be her latest. As you can see, she is serious and mature.

Published on Jan 31, 2013

للتطوع مع "قوة ضد التحرش" و قراءة الشهادات كاملة


'I saw with my own eyes someone tearing my pullover, and bra, and taking them off and fondling my breasts. At the same time, people were assaulting my body in every single way. I was very disgusted and very exhausted, I felt like I was losing consciousness. I was afraid I would fall to the ground and die. I truly felt death was not far.'

This is the testimony of a girl who was subjected to group sexual assault.
200, 300, 500, even 1000 men surround a girl in a rapid and organized manner. They tear off her clothes, beat her, wound her and even try to kill her.

Due to the frequency of this occurrence,a group called 'Op Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault' were formed. Their goal is to intervene when this happens, save the girl, and take her to a safe place or a hospital where she is provided with psychological, medical and legal help.

The disappointing reactions of everyone encourages this crime's occurrence.

Starting from the media that instead of focusing on the assaults, focuses on unimportant details. Like what was the victim wearing, or where does she work or where does she live. Then there are the political powers that completely ignore the issue and claim that this is not the time for it. By the way, you can't tell people to take part in a certain march when you haven't secured it. And then there are of course the people who sit around and do nothing, and try to come up with empty arguments to put blame on the victim, just to ease their conscience. Like saying, she was dressed inappropriately. As a matter of fact, this crime occurs against girls who are veiled and who were the niqab. And a veiled girl was stripped and beaten and run over by army soldiers, in front of the whole world, and no one said a thing.

And then there are those people that want to separate women from the rest of society. This isn't a solution. There are women-only cars in the subway where sexual harassment still occurs.

And then the people who ask why those girls went there (to the Square). Every single person has the right to decide where they want to go. And like this happens in Tahrir Square, it happens in the subway, in celebrations, in universities, in all of the streets of Egypt.

We won't be silenced.
We won't be silenced.

We won't be silenced, and we won't stop going out in the streets. And we will continue to fight for our right to walk in safe streets

This is what she was talking about:

Here is what she was like two years ago...

...and this:

She is (was?) a journalism major at the American University of Cairo (AUC). 
Here is a link to some of her work. 

No comments:

Post a Comment