Category Archives: Egypt

Egyptian women have had enough of sexual harassment

Article published in Göteborgsposten
January 29, 2017
By Nesma Nowar

Egypt. A study made by UN Women and Egypt’s National Council for Women in 2013 showed that 99,3 percent of women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment in public places.

Sarah Salah, a 19-year old student, says that she daily gets sexually harassed, either on public transport or on her walk from the bus station to the university.
-I can’t handle this daily stress anymore, she says. It’s common that men on the crowded bus use the lack of space as an excuse to shamelessly touch intimate parts of my body.

Sarah is scared to tell her parents about her experiences because she is worried they would stop her from going to University. Although sexual harassment happens to women across the Egyptian society, those on a lower income are more vulnerable because they rely on public transport.
-These women are often forced to stay at home because the family sees it as a way of protecting them, says Nevine Ebeid from the women’s rights organisation New Woman Foundation. The message from society is that women have no place in the public realm.

Rasha Sultan, pictured, says that sexual harassment means she often doesn’t leave the house during big public holidays when the streets are crowded. Every time she has participated in the yearly Eid celebrations it has ended with her filing a harassment report at a police station.

Full article (in Swedish) published by Göteborgsposten:{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A4rlden/egyptiska-kvinnor-har-tr{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}B6ttnat-p{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A5-sexofredande-1.4134600

Hope of freedom has turned into anger and disappointment

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
October 2, 2016
By Shahira Amin

Egypt. More than five years have passed since president Mubarak was unseated in Egypt. There was hope that the revolution would lead to much wanted reforms, but today the Egyptians are as far away from democracy as they were when they took to the streets in 2011.

Today, Tahrir square – once the symbol of the Egyptian revolution – has few similarities with the public space that was occupied by tens of thousands of democracy activists in the beginning of 2011.

The hope and optimism then felt has been replaced by anger and discontentment from unfulfilled expectations. Since the unseating of the president Mohamed Morsi 2013, supported by the military, society is deeply polarised. Tens of thousands of the leaders and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are imprisoned.

-If you’re not part of the military you risk being accused of being a traitor and a spy. The government is using its war on terror to silence critics and turn Egyptians against each other, says taxi driver Ahmed Hamdan when we meet in Zamalek, a suburb located not far from  Tahrir square.

Secular human rights activists and debaters have been targets for the government’s tougher stance, several journalists are behind bars accused of “publication of fake news” or “belonging to a terrorist group”.

-Those who imprison journalists are afraid of the truth and do not want the other side of the story to be told, says the Al-Jazeera journalist Baher Mohamed. He was imprisoned for two years before he was released, and now he lives in Qatar.

Organisations fighting for human rights have condemned the situation in Egypt, especially the high number of abducted persons. According to a report by Amnesty International, in 2015 Egyptian security forces abducted and tortured at least several hundred people, some as young as 14, in an attempt to silence opponents.

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, October 2 2016. Full article (in Swedish) here:–langt-till-frihet-och-demokrati/om/varlden