The Egyptian Revolution and Women’s Rights

An opinion piece posted on LA Times, provides an interesting through troubling look into women’s rights in Egypt and how things are turning out for women since the revolution.

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It was inspiring to witness women protest alongside men in Egypt; at the time, it seemed like a movement within a movement. But that swell has since crashed, in great part because of Lara Logan and other female correspondents who’ve bravely and dutifully shed light on the heinous reality of living in a place that treats women like open-to-all sex organs.

And now, another reality check: In Wednesday’s Foreign section, Bob Drogin told the story of Mariam Nekiwi, a young woman who, like Logan, was also a victim of sexual harassment on the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

First someone grabbed her groin, she said. Other hands groped the rest of her body, pinching hard and yanking at her clothes. She was shoved one way and then the other. The frenzy was so sudden, the crush so stifling, that she could barely see. She shouted, and then screamed. The reaction was swift.

“People started yelling at me to be quiet,” recalled Nekiwi, a 24-year-old video editor, still shaken by the ordeal. “They said: ‘Don’t tarnish the revolution. Don’t make a scene.’ They said: ‘We are men. We’re sorry. Just go now.'”

That’s right. Men were rendering an innocent woman helpless after they’d spent 18 days rallying against that very feeling. In that moment, those men silenced her to satisfy their own agenda. Sound familiar?

ow, we’re left wondering not just what will become of Egypt, but also, what’ll become of its women as they remain edged out of the constitutional reform discussions. For all Hosni Mubarak’s corrupt ways, he did play a positive role in Egypt’s feminism movement, and now he’s gone.

What women must do, argues Rachel Newcomb in USA Today, is keep the spirit of activism alive. Yes, women have a long way to go, but they’re not starting from scratch.

In fact, they make up more than 30% of the workforce and, in some fields, such as medicine, women graduate from universities in equal numbers to men. Even so, 45% are illiterate. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report ranks Egypt 120 out of 128 countries in gender equality.

5 Comments

ronnieDecember 3rd, 2014 at 10:23 pm

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AlbertDecember 14th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

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kenDecember 17th, 2014 at 11:30 pm

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WallaceDecember 21st, 2014 at 5:04 am

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StephenJanuary 16th, 2015 at 7:24 pm

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