Thursday, February 17, 2011

Count The Women In Egypt's Transition

Reporter Ursula Lindsey has lived in Egypt since 2003 and says public taunts and harassment by Egyptian men are unremitting. Her post about the assault on CBS's Lara Logan (shown here) does provoke guarded optimism that generational and cultural change is underway, especially if 26-year-old anti-harassment activist Engy Ghozlan has anything to do with it:

Egyptians insist that what happened to Logan is not representative of their revolution; some note that sexual violence unfortunately happens the world over. But some also say it’s a reminder that the road ahead is a long one, and that they need to focus on social as well as political change.

"Tahrir Square was a small representation of what we want Egypt to be, but not necessarily what it is," says Ghozlan. "Society still does have its problems and we can't ignore them and think they've gone away."

Ghozlan's group has long campaigned for a new law against sexual harassment. Today, they and other women’s rights groups are also calling for women to be better represented in the political transition, so their concerns aren’t left by the wayside.

In the last few weeks, says Ghozlan, “We set an example. We set a rule.”

Would the transitional regime's failure to bring a significant number of women on board be an indication that the revolution is being hijacked by Islamists?

Hat tip to The Daily Dish

No comments: