Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sexual Harassment Blights The Whole Nation

From Mashallah blog:

Drawing posted by ‎The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, concerning the incidents of sexual harassment in Tahrir.

Important organizations that fight sexual harassment in Egypt:

Harassmap: @harassmap
Op Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault: @OpAntiSH
Tahrir Bodyguard:  @TahrirBodyguard

Also: Shoft Tahrosh ("I Saw Harassment") and horrific first-hand accounts from survivors at Nazra for Feminist Studies.

Please consider donating to Harassmap's latest effort, a brilliant nation-wide media initiative aimed at changing society's attitude toward sexual harassment and assault - not just in Tahrir, but across the nation, where its everyday manifestations make life and the public sphere inhospitable for women as they work, study, travel and socialize.

The following article is Aljazeera's latest reporting on the sexually violent turn protests have taken since the original protests that overthrew Mubarak. At that time, winter 2011, Tahrir was a utopic space in which men and women demonstrated and camped out together without incident. It's recalled with great nostalgia by those who lived it. Sexual assault as a political tactic to terrorize dissent is not new and preceded the revolution, but an overall social impassivity toward sexual harassment and violence has allowed assaults of all kinds - politically motivated or not - to flourish. The situation is nothing short of a public health crisis.

While chants and songs boomed in the city's packed Tahrir Square, the epicentre of million-man marches that toppled two presidents in three years, mobs of sexual predators blended within the crowds, hounding female prey.
Although there are no official chronicles of the number of victims, local human rights groups claim more than 100 women were abused since protests started on June 28, with at least two cases of rape recorded.
"It's no longer accurate to refer to such assaults as mere sexual harassment. They are sexual terrorism," Fathi Farid, coordinator of local human rights group I Saw Harassmenttold Al Jazeera.

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