Egyptian Women Stand Up to Army Dictators

Egyptian Women Stand Up to Army Dictators

by Neveen Cavalli

Throughout the last 10 months the military police has dealt very violently with protesters. Many have been killed, many more injured. The violence escalated and was always unnecessary …. well, violence is rarely if ever necessary. It seemed SCAF is still acting with the same mentality of the old regime: oppress with any means available.

When it came to female protesters, SCAF with its military police and more recently paratroopers even, along with police and riot police have been very creative! Egyptian women have endured varied and frightening forms of mental, physical and sexual abuse over the last 10 months. To mention but a few, the infamous “virginity tests” incident where female protesters were stripped naked in a room with open doors and windows and male soldiers jeering and photographing them from outside, then subjected to an examination to determine whether or not they are virgins!! the vicious beating and sexual harrassment of journalist Mona Altahawi during the events of November 19, and Dr. Ghada Kamel, Dr. Farida Alssehi during the latest events of December 16. Of course one cannot speak of violence against female protesters by the military without mentioning the woman who was set upon by no less than 6 soldiers, viciously kicked and beaten, her burqa torn, dragged on the ground and left exposed and injured on the street.

Furthermore, some media has been fueling public opinion against the female protesters. In a conservative society like Egypt, spreading ideas like “why would a respectable girl go down to the street among all these men in a demonstration anyway?” and “why was that woman in the burqa not wearing at least a tshirt underneath it?” can be very effective in turning public opinion away from condemning the actions of the perpetrators and blaming the victim instead!

On Tuesday December 20th, 2011, thousands of Egyptian women marched in Cairo and Alexandria to protest the violence exercised by SCAF and the security forces against protesters and especially female protesters.  Enough is enough.

They wanted to tell SCAF that they will not be scared … they will not be silenced …they are not intimidated

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