“This is not a free society if a woman cannot walk down the street without fear of being harassed, attacked, or even molested.”, says Jumanah Younis for the Guardian Egypt’s revolution means nothing if its women are not free.
Lately we have been talking a lot through Egyptian Revolution of conditions of women and more especially female journalists working in Egypt: the lack of respect towards them, the sexual harassment, repetitive attacks, etc… Female journalists worldwide attempt anyway to work in Egypt and expose the facts of current Egyptian society to the world despite the humiliating and stressful conditions of working. After a great deal of research on women’s conditions, it appears according to this video below from Women News Network that 60 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women are harassed on a daily basis. Plus read this report published by The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, United Nations about Violence against Women in Egypt.
Beyond this, Aliaa Elmahdy, a young Egyptian student, even went further in her way of expressing herself. She posted a naked picture of herself to express her own meaning of freedom of speech and sexual equality: successful challenge as her photo has been spread all over the world and has caught local and international media attention. She screams against: “a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.” (source: Global Post). This twenty-year old student at the American Univeristy of Cairo, atheist since the age of 16 explains that she took these nude pictures and wrote articles to denounce oppression of women in the Middle East. However in a country where traditions and religion lead the people, her picture posted on her blog is causing a scandal. Is it an immoral act? Egypt is a conservative religious country and most of Muslim women are veiled and nudity is strongly frowned upon in Arabic societies, therefore people from both conservative and liberals parties are shocked and punish that action.
Do you reckon such a ‘scandal’ can lead to an open debate on freedom and conditions of women in a Egypt in transition? May it be a good way to hear Egyptian women’s voice, (quieter than their female neighbors in other Arab societies so far) ?