Assaults on women put Egypt’s revolt in danger
volume 34
issue 4
August 2013

Millions of Egyptians have again risen up against their repressive and incompetent government. In less than a year they concluded that “elections” do not mean real democracy, and that a Muslim regime is no better than a military one.

In both the 2011 and 2013 insurrections, women were stunningly visible and steadfast in support of the revolution. Yet then and now, they are still being viciously attacked for daring to be political activists. Nearly 200 women and girls were physically and sexually assaulted by gangs during just four days in recent demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Witnesses report that some of the assaults were orchestrated. Some were random, and some were even by movement men who haven’t yet rejected a medieval scorn of the “second sex.”

Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy writes, “The Arab uprisings may have been sparked by an Arab man [a Tunisian vendor], but they will be finished by Arab women.” She’s right. But there will be no revolution if the movement fails to stand with female comrades. During Iran’s 1979 revolution, when Ayatollah Khomeini repressed Iranian women, anti-Shah forces tragically kept silent. And that revolution became its opposite: counter-revolution. All out to defend Egypt’s women rebels!

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