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Egypt launches first prosecution for female genital mutilation after girl dies

March 26, 2014

Patrick Kingsley in Cairo - Friday 14th March 2014


Dr Raslan Fadl and father of the 13-year-old girl who died during cutting are the first to be prosecuted in Egypt for practice of FGM.

In a landmark case, Dr Raslan Fadl is the first doctor to be prosecuted for FGM in Egypt, where the practice was banned in 2008, but is still widely accepted and carried out by many doctors in private.

Sohair al-Bata'a died in Fadl's care in June 2013, and her family admitted that she had been victim to an FGM operation carried out at their request.

The case was initially dropped after an official medical report claimed that Sohair had been treated for genital warts, and that she died from an allergic reaction to penicillin. But after a campaign by local rights groups and the international organisation Equality Now, as well as an investigation by Egypt's state-run National Population Council (NPC), the country's chief prosecutor agreed to reopen the case – leading to this week's seminal prosecution of both Fadl and Sohair's father.

"It is a very important case," said Hala Youssef, head of the NPC, which had pushed for the case to be reopened. "It's the first time that somebody in Egypt will be prosecuted for this crime, and it should be a lesson for every clinician. The law is there, and it will be implemented."

According to Unicef, 91% of married Egyptian women aged between 15 and 49 have been subjected to FGM, 72% of them by doctors. Unicef research suggests that support for the practice is gradually falling: 63% of women in the same age bracket supported it in 2008, compared with 82% in 1995.

But according to research, FGM still has high support in areas with a lower standard of education, where proponents claim mutilation makes women less likely to commit adultery.

Families living near where Sohair died have not been put off the practice, says Reda Maarouf, a local lawyer involved in the case; they simply go to other doctors.

Sohair's family are reported to oppose her father's prosecution. "It's a cultural problem, not religious," said Vivian Foad, an official who led the NPC's investigation. "Both Muslims and Christians do it. They believe it protects a woman's chastity."

Some Islamic fundamentalists claim FGM is a religious duty, but it is not nearly as widespread in most other majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East. Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Equality Now's regional representative, said: "It's very much rooted in Egypt, but in other Arab countries – in Jordan, in Palestine, in Syria – we don't have it."

There are four main methods of committing FGM, according to theWorld Health Organisation, and Abu-Dayyeh said the practice of removing a girl's clitoris and labia was probably the most common in Egypt.

"It's a very painful procedure and I don't know why they do it. It's the worst one," said Abu-Dayyeh, who visited Sohair's grave in Mansoura, northern Egypt, as part of Equality Now's campaign. "Women will really not feel any pleasure when having sex with their husband. It's criminal."

Foad hopes Egypt's interim government will be more proactive about FGM than the administration it replaced after Mohamed Morsi's overthrow last year. Officially, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood claimed they opposed FGM, but prominent members and allies of the group expressed support for it. "People are entitled to do what suits them," said Azza al-Garf, a female MP from the Brotherhood's political arm, in 2012. Another ultra-conservative MP, Nasser al-Shaker – a member of a Salafi party that was then an ally of the Brotherhood – called for legalisation of FGM, and said it had a religious mandate.

Two years on, Egypt's leadership has been criticised internationally for other human rights abuses, but Foad hopes it will be more progressive than its predecessors on FGM. "Under Morsi, they didn't create a conducive atmosphere through the media, and through education – not only for FGM but all women's issues. Now the government is responding positively, and the media is responding positively."

Abu-Dayyeh said Fadl's prosecution was just the start. The case would count for little unless the doctor was jailed and an anti-FGM awareness campaign reached the country's poorest districts, she said.

"Now you need much more work. And it has to be done far away from Cairo – in the [rural areas] where the practice is very widespread."

Additional reporting by Manu Abdo

FGM in Egypt: Control over Female Sexuality

November 4, 2013

Egypt is the only country in North Africa where the practise of female genital mutilation remains widespread – despite an official ban and many public information campaigns for women. Anna Kölling reports from Cairo

According to estimates, over 90 per cent of all Egyptian women of childbearing age are affected by genital mutilation. The scale of this practice first became apparent in 1994 with a study conducted on population development and health. Activists have been fighting against female circumcision for decades and, after the popular uprising in early 2011, women's rights once again became a prominent topic in the media. Although women and men have fought side by side on the streets, the rights of women are nevertheless becoming increasingly jeopardised. Ultra-conservative groups, for example, are calling for the lifting of the ban on female circumcision, which was enacted into law in 2008. 

Egypt protests: Nearly 100 women sexually assaulted, raped in Cairo

July 3, 2013

Shocking reports have emerged from anti-harassment factions of nearly 100 women having fallen victim to “rampant” sexual assaults and in some instances being raped by mobs in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, over four days of Egyptian protests against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian Constitution Provides Little Protection

January 15, 2013

A secular Egyptian woman outlines the disappointments written into the country's new constitution, passed in late December. Women have had only one legal advance since the revolution: prosecuting sex harassment.

A problematic discourse: who speaks for Arab women?

December 17, 2012

Placed between the First Lady and the Diplomat at the recent Trust Women conference on the 'Arab spring', Ala'a Shehabi argues that in order to foster constructive engagement with the global south, the media, international donors and policy makers should recognise the radical social shifts towards unorganised local groupings and informal collectives

Egypt: The Day after the Referendum

December 13, 2012

It will pass… a draft of a constitution that doesn’t represent Egyptians or their dreams. A draft that did not engage them in the dialogue for change, which passed just two before the referendum, without giving Egyptians the opportunity to discuss it. When the revolution started, Egyptians looked forward to a time where they could evaluate their beliefs and values, discuss them, even change them and reflect it all in a document that recorded the whole process. But this never happened.

Egypt: Battle Harassment on the Streets

September 20, 2012

Women's groups call on President Morsy to help combat increasing incidents of sexual harassment against women.

Egyptian woman protests in Cairo

Egypt: Woman bids for leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Islamist party

October 6, 2012

For the first time, a woman is running for the leadership of the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful Islamist group. Sabah el-Saqari says she wants to increase female participation in politics and even defends a woman's right to run for president, a stance her organization rejects.

But liberals who fear Islamist rule will set back women's rights say her candidacy is just an attempt by the Brotherhood to improve its image.

Egypt: Constitution draft article raises fears for women's rights

September 23, 2012

Following publication of Article 36 of the 'Rights and Duties' section of Egypt's draft constitution, a number of political parties, coalitions and public figures have issued a joint statement expressing their "deep concern" for the draft article's wording, which, they say, could compromise women's historical rights.

Egypt: Women Insist on their Rights

September 21, 2012

Egypt's women played a crucial role in the country's 'Arab Spring' revolution. But, in the post-Mubarak era, they are finding that they have to keep fighting for their rights.

Egypt: The feminine critique

September 12, 2012

For the first time in Egyptian history, a female anchor on state television has covered her hair with a head scarf. Under the Mubarak regime, women were forbidden to wear a head scarf on state television in order to depict a more modern appearance; however, current President Mohammed Morsi, who is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, has lifted the ban. Thus, women are now allowed to wear a head scarf on state television if they chose to do so.

Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic'

October 14, 2012

Campaigners in Egypt say the problem of sexual harassment is reaching epidemic proportions, with a rise in such incidents over the past three months. For many Egyptian women, sexual harassment - which sometimes turns into violent mob-style attacks - is a daily fact of life, reports the BBC's Bethany Bell in Cairo.

Last winter, an Egyptian woman was assaulted by a crowd of men in the city of Alexandria.

Egypt: Women Human Rights Defenders Concept Papers

June 27, 2012

The Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) program is issuing a series of concept papers that aim to introduce the notion of WHRDs: who they are, what they do, and why they should be considered as a distinct group of human rights defenders. The categories of WHRDs analyzed in the concept papers include: vocational women (doctors, nurses, and teachers); students; political candidates; civil society activists; protesters; and workers (industrial and agrarian sectors).

Egypt: The shape of the second republic

August 21, 2012

Most Egyptians will come to remember 13 August 2012 as more than just another long hot day of the holy month of Ramadan. Just a few hours before sunset when millions waited eagerly to break their fast, news broke out of a major development in the ongoing power struggle between two main power houses: the generals representing the country's military past, and the political faction seeking to control its future.

Egypt: New hotline to report sexual harassment

September 18, 2012

Egypt's National Council for Women announced on Tuesday a new hotline dedicated to receiving reports of sexual harassment: 08008883888.

The council issued a statement on their Facebook page stating that they are working with the interior ministry to swiftly reinforce the sexual harassment law on thugs and offenders.

Ambassador Mervat Talawy, head of the council, stressed on the importance of reinforcing the law, considering the council a representation of all women in Egypt and pointing to its keenness to preserve the dignity of women.

Egypt: Challenging a Women's place through Street Art

August 9, 2012

Merna Thomas, a twenty-four-year-old activist, heads out for another day of revolution. Armed with brushes and small buckets of paint, her goal today is not the overthrow of a regime, but something perhaps even more daring: to change Egyptian attitudes toward women. On the side of a downtown building, she puts her graffiti skills to work with an illustration of Samira Ibrahim—hailed for bravely speaking out after becoming one of the victims of the infamous virginity tests that Egyptian security forces performed on detained female protesters in 2011. Passersby mumble streams of complaints.

Morocco: Wearing the hijab may not be an ‘Islamic duty’ says university

June 30, 2012

Casablanca, MOROCCO: Last month at Al Azhar University, Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed defended a thesis that sparked a heated debate among religious scholars.The candidate concluded that Hijab, or the veil, is not an Islamic duty.

The claim is not the first of its kind, but the mere fact that it is adopted in Al Azhar University – the Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning –makes it controversial.

Egypt Run-Off Elections: Doaa Abdelaal’s First-Hand Account

June 15, 2012

The run-off for presidency elections in Egypt are this weekend – the first after the ongoing Egyptian revolution. The two candidates were the least expected to be at this stage: Mohamed Morsi, who represents the “political arm” of a group, the Muslim Brotherhood, that sees “Islam is the Solution,” and the other is Ahmed Shafik, who belongs to the Military that has been running Egypt for the last (60) years and still. Every one who is following the progress of events and incidents in Egypt is curious and everyone inside Egypt is worried, even if their decision is to choose one over the other or to boycott the run-off.

Egypt: Campaign in response to potential lowering of marriage age for girls

May 3, 2012

Plan is deeply concerned at new proposals by the Egyptian parliament to reduce the legal age for girls to marry to 14 – just 4 years after a successful campaign increased the age limit to 18.

Early marriage can have a devastating impact on girls’ lives – they are more likely to be forced out of school, live in poverty, have early pregnancies and endure health complications or die during childbirth.

Legal protection

Egypt: Women Refuse To Be Silenced By Assaults

June 10, 2012

Violence against women demonstrators in Egypt erupted again on Tuesday when a frenzied mob of 200 men sexually assaulted a female protester in Tahrir Square. Then, during a rally on Friday to protest the incident, about 50 women and their male allies were themselves brutalized and chased away by another mob.

Egypt: Elections - a Choice Between Islamic Dictatorship and Military Authoritarianism

May 31, 2012

For the next and final round of presidential elections, Egyptians are being asked to choose between an Islamic or military dictatorship both claiming legitimacy through the ballot box.

Egypt: Call for sexual harassment law

May 14, 2012

Egypt’s liberal Free Egyptians Party (FEP) declared its support for the calls by women’s rights organizations and NGOs , which called for anti-harassment laws, an Egyptian online news website reported on Monday.

The party said it stands against “the phenomenon of sexual harassment” and called for the passing of a law criminalizing the act, Egypt’s Bikyamasr news website reported.

Egypt: New Al-Azhar document to safeguard women's rights

May 13, 2012

“Al-Azhar, the country’s highest religious institution, intends to prepare a new document to safeguard women’s rights, as enshrined in the Islamic Sharia,” said Ahmed el-Tayyeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

Egypt: Brotherhood mobile FGM convoys condemned by women’s group

May 14, 2012

CAIRO: A number of Egyptian human rights groups have submitted a communication to the Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud against the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to investigate the complaints of people in the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo, over the existence of a large medical convoy organized by the party that wanders streets and does medical examination on people, including female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, in violation of Egyptian law, conventions and treaties signed by Egypt.

Egypt: Women accuse Egyptian military of sexual assault

May 10, 2012

Women protesters and rights groups have accused Egyptian troops and prison authorities of sexual assault during the latest crackdown on demonstrations, reviving allegations they are using abuse to intimidate female detainees and protesters.

The charges made on Wednesday added new tension to Egypt's presidential election campaign, just two weeks before the voting.

Zainah Anwar: Arab Spring opens window of opportunity for women in Mideast

April 29, 2012
In many countries of the Middle East, women are wondering what the Arab Spring means for them. Some observers are concerned that the power vacuum will leave the door open for Islamist groups to take power and force changes opposing women’s rights.

 Zainah Anwar, a leading Malaysian social activist and intellectual, is not one of them. She is even excited about the prospects that the Arab Spring could have for women.

Why do they hate us? - Mona Eltahawy

April 23, 2012

In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to depriv

Egypt's feminists prepare for a long battle

February 7, 2012

Women in the country say their struggle for equal rights is universal, whether the Islamists or military are in charge.

With a tumultuous year behind it, Egypt is bracing for a fresh start - but this new democracy carries some old baggage, including the classic challenge of the marginalisation of the country's women. 

Women in Authoritarian States

February 1, 2012

It’s not just about cars, argues Madawi Al-Rasheed. News reports from Saudi Arabia often appear bizarre and outrageous: young women lashed for defying a driving ban; women accused of witchcraft beheaded; victims of rape stoned to death. Such practices are not unusual in Saudi Arabia and regularly exposed by organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Egypt: Salafi religious conservatives to lead education reform

February 9, 2012

CAIRO: If religious conservatives have their way, educational reform in Egypt will reflect their strict and literalist interpretation of Islam.

This will include separate programs for girls to teach them their “special roles and God-given obligations.”

A member of the ultra-conservative Islamist Salafi Al-Nour party, Shabaan Abdel Aleen, will be chairing Parliament’s new education committee.

Egypt: Concerns as Brotherhood Ignores Abuse of Women

January 19, 2012

A group of men gathered around Amira El Bakry in Tahrir Square as she brandished a newspaper photo that shocked many Egyptians. It showed troops dragging a female protester along the street, her robe ripped open to reveal a blue bra and bare midriff.

Egypt: Women Find Power Still Hinges on Men

January 9, 2012

CAIRO — At first Samira Ibrahim was afraid to tell her father that Egyptian soldiers had detained her in Tahrir Square in Cairo, stripped off her clothes, and watched as she was forcibly subjected to a “virginity test.”

Egypt: Samira Ibrahim is the woman behind Egypt’s ban of virginity tests

December 27, 2011

An Egyptian court has banned virginity tests for female detainees, many months after women arrested in Tahrir Square in March said they had been forced to take examinations.

Egypt: Mass March by Cairo Women in Protest Over Soldiers’ Abuse

December 20, 2011

Thousands of women massed in Tahrir Square here on Tuesday afternoon and marched to a journalists’ syndicate and back in a demonstration that grew by the minute into an extraordinary expression of anger at the treatment of women by the military police as they protested against continued military rule.

Egypt: How will Election Results Impact Women?

December 13, 2011

With the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections drawing to a close, the Global Fund for Women asked Mozn Hassan, who’s based in Cairo, for her feminist perspective and analysis on results to date.

Egypt: Election Monitoring from Gender Perspective

September 14, 2011

(Cairo, 14 September 2011) In its continuing effort to enhance women's role in the Egyptian political sphere and follow the mechanisms and means that guarantee equality in women's representation, ECWR is going to monitor the 2011 Parliamentary and Shoura Elections from a gender perspective. For this purpose, ECWR is preparing its Operation Room that will be in charge of the monitoring and will undertake the following missions:

First Mission: Technical Support

ECWR is working on:

Documenting Violence Against Women in 10 Countries

September 19, 2011

Karin Alfredsson is spearheading a nongovernmental project to document violence against women around the world, and to highlight the shortcomings and successes of legislation and other initiatives aimed at helping to curb it.

Stockholm: Violence against women worldwide causes more deaths and injuries than traffic accidents, cancer, and malaria combined.

Egypt: The unclear future of women

September 19, 2011

CAIRO, September 13, 2011‑Egyptian women currently face numerous threats that will not only destroy the goals of equality, freedom and change voiced in the January revolution, but the advances women have made over the last century.

Because Mrs. Mubarak was extremely active in women’s issues, including the advancement of women’s rights, many Egyptians, especially men, equate women’s rights with the former corrupt dictatorship of Hosni Mubara.

Egypt: Women seek to establish themselves during transitional period

August 15, 2011

CAIRO: Six months on, women say they are yet to reap the benefits of a revolution that explicitly called for equality and social justice, with women missing from key positions that are helping shape the country in its transitional phase.

Rigid Coptic Divorce Law Sparks Brawl, Protests

August 4, 2011

CAIRO, Egypt (WOMENSENEWS)--Despite the stigma attached to divorce, ending a marriage is still relatively easy for Muslim women in Egypt. All they have to do is file paperwork with a family court and the deed is done, as long as they're not seeking alimony or damages from their husbands.

For the country's millions of Orthodox Christians, or Copts, it's been nearly impossible since Pope Shenouda III, the head of one of the most conservative churches in Christianity, forbade divorce except in the case of conversion or adultery three years ago.

Egypt: ‘They Ogle, Touch, Use the Filthiest Language Imaginable’

May 30, 2011

CAIRO, May 30, 2009 (IPS) - As night falls over Egypt’s capital, youth gather along the banks of the Nile where a carnivalesque atmosphere prevails.

Tamer and Mido have taken up positions on the railing next to the river. As a group of veiled teenage girls approaches, the duo works in tandem. Tamer removes the girls’ headscarves with his eyes, while sexually nuanced words roll off Mido’s tongue. 

Egypt: Military pledges to stop forced 'virginity tests'

June 27, 2011

The head of Egypt’s military intelligence has promised Amnesty International that the army will no longer carry out forced ‘virginity tests’ after defending their use, during a meeting with the organisation in Cairo on Sunday.

Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), discussed the issue with Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty months after the organisation publicized allegations of the forced ‘tests’. 

Virginity tests: Misogyny and intimidation in Egypt

June 1, 2011


The Egyptian military's use of so-called virginity tests against female democracy protesters in Tahrir Square is part of a long tradition of using sexual harassment as a tool of social control.

The Hymen Obsession: Inequality & Harassment in Egypt

June 3, 2011

I am not writing this for the average Ali or Mahmoud on the streets of Cairo or Alexandria; rather this is written with the forward looking progressives of Egypt in mind; the internet savvy Egyptians of Twitter, Facebook & You Tube. Some ten years ago I went with my family to an Arab American convention in Washington DC, at the dinner table there was another Egyptian American family and their late teenage son & daughter who told us of their experience moving back to Egypt for a couple of years.

Egypt: Admission of forced 'virginity tests' must lead to justice

May 31, 2011


The Egyptian authorities must bring those responsible for ordering or conducting forced ‘virginity tests’ to justice, following a senior military figure’s admission that the army subjected female protesters to them, Amnesty International said today. 

A senior Egyptian general told CNN that women detained on 9 March at Cairo’s Tahrir Square had been forced to undergo ‘virginity tests’, which the government has previously denied.  

Egypt: General admits 'virginity tests' conducted on protesters

May 31, 2011

Cairo (CNN) -- A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.

Egypt: Secularists unite to take on Islamists

May 21, 2011


CAIRO, May 21, 2011 (IPS) - Liberal and secular Egyptians at the core of mass protests that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak are scrambling to form a unified political front ahead of critical parliamentary elections in which they will face the better-organised Islamists.

Egypt: Revolution Women March Against Religious Strife

May 10, 2011


Arabic - Below

(Cairo, May 10, 2011) A large number of Egyptian women participated in a march entitled "No to sectarian strife" which appeared with its ugly face in the district of Imbaba. They participated in this march to stress the values of citizenship and tolerance and to prevent the strife that has been witnessed in the district and in many different places in Egypt after the revolution.

Middle East/North Africa: Journalists & Cyber Activists In the Line of Fire

April 28, 2011


Article XIX Statement: From Morocco to Bahrain, everyday people have taken on the cast iron hold of dictatorships and absolute monarchies resulting in an extraordinary collective awakening that has paved the way for epochal change in the region. The youth movement, which lies at the core of the uprisings, continues to play a prominent role in the pro-democracy and pro-reform demonstrations, which have swept through the region, unabated by government clampdowns or concessions.

 

Egypt: Film shines light on sexual harassment

April 6, 2011


A film lifting the lid on sexual harassment on the streets of Egypt is gaining plaudits around the world.

"Cairo 678" tells the story of three fictional women from different backgrounds as they search for justice from daily sexual harassment.<--break->

UN: Bachelet Addresses Challenges, Provides Recommendations for Pathway to Democracy in Egypt

March 25, 2011


Cairo — During a high-level UN delegation led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Egypt 19-21 March, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet engaged with women activists, youth leaders and civil society at interactive roundtables to discuss the challenges ahead in light of the country’s recent political uprising as well as the practical and strategic role women must play to set the path for democracy and gender equality in Egypt.

Egypt: Women Protesters Forced to Take "Virginity Tests"

March 23, 2011


Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month. 

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention.

Middle East: Women and the Revolution

March 25, 2011


Among the most prevalent Western stereotypes about Muslim countries are those concerning Muslim women: doe-eyed, veiled, and submissive, exotically silent, gauzy inhabitants of imagined harems, closeted behind rigid gender roles. So where were these women in Tunisia and Egypt?

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights condemns the violations on female activists

March 12, 2011

 

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights followed up the events of March the 8th on the occasion of International Women's Day in a great worry. The celebration events started with an initiative of young women and men who gathered in Al Tahrir Square in order to salute female and male martyrs of the Revolution as well as their mothers and to remind the society and decision makers with the necessity of involving women in phases of the democratic transition in Egypt.

Yemen: Women of the Revolts are Catalysts for Change

March 8, 2011


Representing all age groups and various backgrounds, they have proved to be the catalysts for change.

Dubai: The words of a mother whose son was killed by the Tunisian police in Al Qasreen area last December still ring in the ears of Hedia Belhaj Al Sebai.

"I have given my son as a martyr to Tunisia, and I still have four more sons whom I am also willing to sacrifice for the sake of my country," said the mother after her son was shot dead by the police during a protest, according to Hedia, a woman activist in her late 40s.

Egypt: Women attacked at rally on International Women's Day in Tahrir Square

March 8, 2011


A demonstration urging Egypt to give women a voice in building its future was attacked by a group of men Tuesday, delivering a stinging slap to the women who helped propel Egypt's uprising.

“We fought side by side with men during the revolution, and now we’re not represented,” said Passat Rabie, a young woman who came with friends, after men aggressively dispersed the protest. “I thought Egypt was improving, that it was becoming a better country. If it’s changing in a way that’s going to exclude women, then what’s the point? Where’s the democracy?”

Egypt: Remember the Women as Agents of Revolution Change

February 23, 2011


Women fueled the revolution, should shape future.

"I, a girl, am going down to Tahrir Square and I will stand alone." With these words, Asmaa Mahfouz put out a call on YouTube that went viral, helping to ignite Egypt's revolution. A 26-year-old business management graduate, Mahfouz helped rally Egyptians for the initial Jan. 25 protest, to "say no to corruption, no to this regime." But Mahfouz's activism had its roots in another protest led by another woman.

Egypt: Women revolutionaries hope for greater say in post-Mubarak era

February 15, 2011


In the days following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians have begun to outline the characteristics of their ideal country. The “New Egypt” will be clean, it will lack discrimination, it will be corruption-free. The initiative is the beginning of a push for specific demands that were secondary to the removal of Mubarak during the 18 days of protests, and they signify the indomitable idealism and forward-thinking mentality of triumphant anti-government protesters.

Egypt: Women clash over Sharia law after Tahrir shows equality

February 15, 2011


Fatma Emam’s mother accused her of wanting to be a man and threatened to disown her if the 28-year- old joined the protests in Tahrir Square. She went anyway.

“There are so many women who like me defied their families,” Emam said after spending five days and four nights in downtown Cairo. “The revolution is not only taking place in Tahrir, it is taking place in every Egyptian house. It is the revolution of fighting the patriarch.”

Egypt: Nawal El Saadawi: 'We Will Not Let Egypt Burn'

February 11, 2011


Nawal El Saadawi -- an Egyptian psychiatrist, scholar, novelist, feminist and activist -- has been agitating for change in her home country for more than 50 years. An outspoken opponent of female genital mutilation, she was fired from her position as Egypt's director of health education in 1972. When President Anwar Sadat threw her in prison for her activism in 1981, she penned her memoirs on a roll of toilet paper. A committed secularist, her name appears on fundamentalist death lists.

Egypt: Beware of wave of rights

February 6, 2011


It behoves on governments and their religious apparatus to watch current developments in the Arab world closely.

I went to Egypt for the first time in 1981 and promptly fell in love with the country and its people. Until then, I thought I had never encountered the same warmth, generosity and hospitality as Malaysians had to offer.

And there, everyone, including strangers you just met, wanted you to visit their home, their farm, their village. They were proud of their history and their country – and wanted to feed you endlessly.

The status of women in Egypt: What would the post-Mubarak era offer them?

March 3, 2010


Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa 2010 - Egypt
By Mariz Tadros

Introduction

One Day One Struggle: International Campaign to Promote Sexual and Bodily Rights across Muslim Societies

November 9, 2010

On November 9, 2010, the 2nd international “One Day One Struggle” Campaign to promote sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies will take place in 12 countries across Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Honour Crimes Shame the World - Robert Fisk

September 7, 2010

 

It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly.

By Robert Fisk*

Egypt renews crackdown on female mutilation

September 3, 2010

There are giggles and shouts as little children play boisterously in the dusty street by the Hadad family home in the village of Abu Nashaba.

 

Just inside the front door, however, a mother dressed in black is sitting on the floor weeping silently. It is less than a month since the death of her 13-year-old daughter, Nermeen.

The girl died in a nearby health clinic and was buried without a permit from the local authorities.<--break->

Egypt play seeks to smash social taboos

August 9, 2010

 

CAIRO — He wants to have phone sex, she wants to leave her house without a headscarf: a Cairo play seeks to confront Egypt's social taboos by laying bare the sexual frustrations and harassments that beset daily life.

In a makeshift theatre set up in the cafeteria of the Cairo Opera House, a group of amateur actors perform short sketches based on real-life experiences and inspired by Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues".

Egypt’s spinsters turn to suicide

July 19, 2010

 

CAIRO // A university professor committed suicide last month in 6th October City on the outskirts of Cairo because she reached 40 without being married, local media reported.

Violence against women in Egypt on the rise

August 9, 2010

CAIRO: Israa looks at the table in front of her, pictures strewn across that show the bruises and bumps she incurred after her husband punched and threw her around the house after the two had a disagreement over when to send their three-year-old daughter to Kindergarten. It is yet another incident of violence against women, a trend that appears to be growing in the Arab world’s largest country.

Egypt: Beneath the galabiya: Intersex operations in Assiut

June 15, 2010

 

Norhan Elhakeem Ahmed Ramadan

Assiut--In the realm of sexual taboos in Egypt, the issue of "intersex individuals"--or those born with "ambiguous genitalia"--is certainly somewhere near the top of the list. While medical professionals take an impartial approach to treatment and surgical operations, social and cultural factors pose a challenge for affected individuals and their families.

Egypt using defamation laws to prosecute dissenting voices

May 25, 2010


Amnesty International has criticized the Egyptian authorities' use of criminal defamation charges to silence and harass activists, after the trial of two leading human rights defenders and a prominent blogger started on Saturday.

A court in Cairo heard the case of the three men on charges of "defamation", "the use of threats" and "misuse of communication tools", after allegations of extortion were made by a judge in 2007.

Egypt: Niqab, Chador, Burqa Debate - Divisive Views

 

Hijab, chador, burqa or niqab?

The veiling of Muslim women continues to provoke controversy. This time it is the niqab, or face veil, at the center of the conflict-charged fundamental debate. The bone of contention is none less than the Grand Imam of Cairo University and the Al-Azhar Mosque. Mohammed Sayed al-Tantawi, one of the most senior legal scholars in Sunni Islam, declared that a veil that covers a woman's face leaving only a slit for the eyes is not religiously permissible.

Egypt Cleric 'to ban full veils'

Egypt's highest Muslim authority has said he will issue a religious edict against the growing trend for full women's veils, known as the niqab.

Egypt's Villages Fight Female Genital Mutilation

Egypt's Villages Fight Female Genital Mutilation

By Womens Feature Service

Justice Majida Rizvi: Treat honour killing as homicide

DOHA: Honour killing should be considered as any other homicidal activity, according to an expert. A prominent public figure from Pakistan slammed ‘honour killing’ practised in some parts of the world.

Are attitudes to rape beginning to change?

February 19, 2008

Egypt was scandalised last summer when an 11-year-old girl named Hend Farghali was allegedly raped by a 21-year-old man. Petrified, the girl did not tell anyone until she was five months pregnant.

مصر: هل بدأت مواقف الناس من الاغتصاب تتغير؟

February 19, 2008

هزت الشارع المصري فضيحة كبيرة الصيف الماضي عندما تعرضت طفلة تبلغ من العمر 11 عاماً تُدعى هند فرغلي لعملية اغتصاب من قبل رجل يبلغ من العمر 21 عاماً. ولم تطلع هذه الفتاة، التي انتابها رعب شديد مما حصل لها، أي شخص على الحادثة إلى أن أصبحت حاملاً في شهرها الخامس.