Demonstration Against Sexual Harassment Attacked in Tahrir #endsh

UPdated with video and tweets 12.26 9th June
A demonstration organised by activists, feminists and supporters to highlight  resistance to, and demand an end of sexual harassment was itself attacked.
The demo was organised by over 20 women’s organisations. A group tried to throw rocks and bottles at the demo but where stopped as supporters physically intervened to stop the attacks, and get some of the targetted individuals to safety. Some people too shelters in shops until those attacking where chased off. The AP wires are stating

Witnesses say male supporters who were there to protect the march were overwhelmed by the mob.

The women were assaulted for several minutes before some were able to seek refuge in a nearby building.

Some of the marchers had been carrying posters that said, “The people want to cut the hand of the sexual harasser,” and chanting, “The Egyptian girl says it loudly, harassment is barbaric.”

A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that well over two-thirds of Egyptian women are sexually harassed daily. One of the most impressive social uses of new communication and social media tools Ive ever seen is the HarrassMap project which ” will give women a way to anonymously report incidences of sexual harassment as soon as they happen, using a simple text message from their mobile phone. By mapping these reports online, the entire system will act as an advocacy, prevention, and response tool, highlighting the severity and pervasiveness of the problem” This project should be replicated everywhere i reckon.

Only yesterday several human rights groups released a statement condemning orchestrated harrassment of women at political demos and mobilisations as a strategy to force women to step back from being participant in social movements. Among the organizations that signed the statement were the Alliance of Feminist Organizations, the Feminist Egyptian Union, the Anti-Violence Union, and the women’s committees of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, and the Egyptian Socialist Party.
Following comments on twitter this evening its clear that these attacks are stoppingsome women going to Tahrir Square and more generally from continual involvement in struggles.

Some videos from the demo

 

Philip Brennan has posted a really insightful and contextual piece “The Biopolitical Roots of Sexual Harassment at Egyptian Protests”   that is compulsory reading about the extensive use of sexual assault as a tool of political policing.

Someone with Orientalist leanings might be tempted to say that this is just an Egyptian or Arab, or even, Islamic problem, but cases of serious sexual assault on female protesters in US and UK protests put an end to this lie. During the G20 protests in Toronto, Canada in 2010 reports came in of unlawful strip searches of female detainees in custody of the RCMP.

Equally compulsory reading from a perspective from a fictional “Ordinary-Egyptian-Rapist” is this blog post from moesolitary

There have been grassroots educational initiatives seeking to empower  those experiencing sexual harrassment, heres a video shor below

Below are some photos of the demo taken by @MinaNaguib90

Ive posted some comments from twitter

Below are some photos of the demo taken by @MinaNaguib90

A stand along Mohammed Mahmoud street ‪#EndSH‬ http://yfrog.com/kgt8efyj

2 thoughts on “Demonstration Against Sexual Harassment Attacked in Tahrir #endsh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s