Shorouk al Attar was very seriously sexually assaulted with her sister close to Tahrir Square last year. She is one of many. Hundreds of women are being assaulted some have even had their genitals slashed with knives. In an interview with the BBC al Attar said:
“People who pretended to help were actually harassing me more. Everyone was holding me, pretending to take me out of the crowd but actually they were harassing me. It was hard to differentiate between who was helping and who was harassing. I heard some people laughing. I spent three or four days alone at home. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and crying. I kept asking myself why did this happen to me?”
al Attar, while accepting that she has no proof is one of a growing number of women who feel that the attacks are orchestrated by the government in Egypt. Women attending protests against President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood report the highest number, and the most serious sexual attacks and this has lead them to believe that this is more than just ad hoc in nature. She and an increasing number of women genuinely believe the government are behind many of the attacks, using them as a way to discourage women from attending the protests.
Nevine Ebeid, spokesperson from the New Woman Foundation supports the views of the women, although she is struggling to find concrete proof. Ms Ebeid feels that the political and social climate that has arrived with the Muslim Brotherhood has increased the problem as women’s rights are disputed as there is no equality in the law between men and women in the Islamic system.
The theory of many of the women is simple. If you want to break a society you attack the women, this in itself weakens society as the men become afraid of whats happening to their wives, sisters and daughters and are more likely to become less vocal in order to protect them. Forbidding the women to attend the protests causes strife within the family, again, something that will occupy the minds of men and finally the women themselves are less likely to protest if they are likely to be raped as a result.
The Muslim Brotherhood strenuously denies the accusation.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!