Sexual violence against Egyptian female protesters escalates; women use social media to raise awareness, offer support

Citizens of Egypt are taking to the streets to protest the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi’s dictatorial power grab. Unfortunately, while all protesters are putting themselves in the crosshairs of the Brotherhood and police, female protesters face an additional risk: sexual assault. Incidents of harassment and rape at protests in Tahrir Square have been on the rise since the beginning of the Arab Spring, and reports of sexual assaults at the anti-Morsi protests are all too common.

Female protesters are being warned of the possibility of sexual violence:

How heartbreaking to think that women are at risk of being raped merely for having the courage to speak out against tyranny.

Fortunately, citizens are taking steps to address the misogynistic violence and are spreading the word via social media:

A group of women has also created a special Twitter account, @TahrirBodyguard, to provide support to victims and potential victims of harassment and assault:

Indeed. It’s incredible and encouraging to watch these women boldly put themselves out there and use social media to effect positive change.

Horrible. But it’s truly inspiring to witness the fierce determination of these brave women to ensure that such violence is stopped cold.

Hear, hear.

We applaud the efforts of the women — and their male supporters — to put an end to the violence, and we pray for their safety.

* * *

Update: Twitter has inexplicably suspended the @TahrirBodyguard account. The brave women who set up the account are now tweeting from @TahrirBGBackUp.

blog comments powered by Disqus