For women and girls in Egypt, sexual assault has long been endemic - but victims are now fighting back like never before, writes Salma El-Wardany. It has become part of everyday life in a country where for women picking an outfit is less about style, and more about protection. Over the years, a culture of patriarchy, religion and conservatism has meant women often stay silent when sexual abuse happens because victim-blaming is all too common. Now though, women and girls are finally breaking decades of silence, taking to social media to share their stories of assault, empower one another and call for justice. It began in July when claims were shared online against student Ahmed Bassam Zaki. Nadeen Ashraf, a year-old fellow student, set up the Instagram account Assault Police to share these allegations and received an outpouring of messages from women claiming that Ahmed Bassam Zaki had blackmailed, assaulted, harassed and raped them.
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Egypt's sex assault accusations spotlight social stigmas
Egypt's sex assault accusations spotlight social stigmas | Reuters
In Cairo, secrets long suppressed have been rising to the surface — and with them hopes the country may be experiencing a feminist movement capable of challenging the culture of impunity that has long accompanied gender-based violence in Egypt. Online testimonials over the summer by hundreds of women on social media accounts offering anonymity have led authorities to open investigations into two alleged rape cases involving young men from wealthy and influential families. Social media, she said, has offered Egyptian women a safe "public sphere" that lets them know they are not alone. In July, that space led to the arrest of a former American University in Cairo AUC student named Ahmed Bassem Zaki , accused of raping a number of women and blackmailing them for sexual favours. A Cairo court has set Oct. It set off a tidal wave with another Instagram account called Assault Police, encouraging women to share any information they had on Zaki.
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Egypt sex attacks fuel 'feminist revolution'
By Mai Shams Eldin. To encourage victims to come forward, the government approved a bill to better protect their identity. Yet when the administrator of the Instagram page that attracted the first testimonies tried to expose a second high-profile case, death threats came and she suspended the account at the end of July out of fear, she said. One had posted a video saying she had been raped and blackmailed and appealing for help.
Qty :. In the early 20th century Cairo was a vibrant and booming global metropolis. The integration of Egypt into the global market had led to rapid urban growth and increased migration. As occupational prospects for women outside the family were limited, sex work became a prominent feature of the new modern city.
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