Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is the Egyptian woman worthy

Egyptian woman protesting in Cairo
On April 28, 2011, I blogged about the Egyptian women demonstrating in Tahrir Square and the prominence of a potential first Egyptian female president, Buthayna Kamal.  The hopeful question was whether this new wind of political change would also blow in social change as concerns women in this society.

In the months after the revolution that got Hosni Mubarak out of power and in particular the last few days have shown that attitudes towards women has not changed. This is very disappointing. Women were in the frontline fighting for justice and political change alongside the men. They are worthy of not just recognition but respect.

Women raised their voices calling for change!
When women raised their voices calling for change they were serious. They were not asking or requesting change they demanded change in the political arena. Today they are demanding change in the social behavior that is biased against women. In response the military government is all talk but no action. Last week military generals silently watched their soldiers lead assaults on female protestors.

Mona Seif, a 25-year old activist was punched, slapped and kicked by army soldiers as they dragged her inside the Cabinet Building while at the same time hitting her with wooden batons. The reason she received this shocking and appalling violence was because she had refused to leave the areas until the soldiers released a child she was protecting amid the violence. A young obtuse soldier in charge of the detention room continuously cursed at the female detainees, some old enough to be his mother. He had no ounce of respect for these women and had no problem slapping a woman, 60 years of age, who spoke up and reprimanded his behavior.

Today she demonstrates as a girl-child tomorrow she is brutally beaten as a woman.
This behavior stems from the Egyptian culture, according to Nehad Abolkomsan, a lawyer and director of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights. "People think it's acceptable to do anything to a women if she goes out of line by their standards."

This deliberate humiliation and degradation of Egyptian women is a disgrace and dishonors the revolution. Women marched for change. Young girls watched their mothers, sisters and aunts stand up for what is right and just.  For the sake of this young girls, women will continue to demonstrate and raise their voices.

Egyptian women are worthy of respect and honor from their men. The wind of political change is blowing in social change. Men wake up... women are here to stay!

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