Women in Tahrir protest against street harassment, as reports of sexual assault during demonstrations rise. This Tuesday a woman was mobbed and assaulted by hundreds of men, fortunately rescued by other protesters who chased the men away. On Wednesday, activists met in Tahrir to discuss how to address the serious problem.
The suspicion is that these assaults being carried out on women are organized assaults coordinated by the revolutionaries’ enemies. During the Friday demonstration, journalist Nadia Abul Magd reports that she saw waves of men beset the protesters, both attacking them with rocks and harassing the women. ““Every few minutes there was a wave. It was definitely a coordinated attack,” she said. She believes the attacks are intended to both undermine the image of the protesters and drive women away from activism and demonstrations.
The protesting women explain that they believe their civil rights ought to come with the revolution and protest for them despite the threat of thugs and the disapproval of a few other protesters. A number of them went on a popular Egyptian talk show on Friday night to discuss their experiences.
Picture 1: The first sign being held by a banker named Marwa Salah, reads “I have the right to demonstrate in safety.” Picture 2: The foremost sign, held by engineer Lubna Ezzat, reads “The people want the hand of molestation cut.” (The people want to cut off the power of molestation/assault). Credit: Mohamed Muslemany.