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Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Women of the Revolution.. Heba Morayef

Two years after protests swept across North Africa and the Middle East, what has become of the women who played an essential role during the Arab Spring uprisings? Who are the Women of the Revolution and what have the changes in their country done for them?

Thomson Reuters Foundation is launching an exclusive video project 'Women of the Revolution', giving a voice to women in post-Arab Spring countries.

'After the excitement of the Arab Spring and the uprisings ended we went back to the political, legal and social realities that women have been struggling against for decades in Egypt," said Heba Morayef, Egypt director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. "(...) It is important to remember that there are many other women who are also fighting for social justice and for them this is fighting to be able to survive."

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"ONU-Femmes" préoccupé par la montée des violences contre les femmes en Égypte

"ONU-Femmes" préoccupé par la montée des violences contre les femmes en Égypte | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
La Directrice exécutive d'ONU-Femmes a exprimé jeudi sa profonde préoccupation devant l'escalade des violences contre les femmes en Égypte.
Egypt-actus's insight:

 Elle se déclare très « perturbée » par la gravité des attaques perpétrées contre des manifestantes lors de la commémoration du deuxième anniversaire du soulèvement populaire de février 2011.

 

« ONU-Femmes est profondément troublé par la gravité des récentes attaques commises contre des femmes, y compris les signalements d'agressions sexuelles, dont beaucoup se sont produits sur la place Tahrir, là même où les femmes s'étaient ralliées aux hommes pour contribuer ensemble à un avenir meilleur pour leur pays », indique Michelle Bachelet dans un communiqué de presse.

 

Environ 25 femmes auraient fait l'objet, vendredi dernier, d'agressions sexuelles sur la place Tahrir, en plein centre du Caire, la capitale égyptienne, au cours d'un rassemblement. Dans certains cas, ces agressions auraient été d'une violence sans précédant, a relevé de son côté le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, qui déplore l'incapacité des autorités à prévenir de tels incidents ou à faire comparaitre les suspects devant la justice.

 

Des dizaines de milliers de personnes auraient défilé contre le Président de l'Égypte, Mohammed Morsi, deux ans après les manifestations gigantesques qui avaient conduit au renversement de son prédécesseur, Hosni Moubarak, et inauguré une période de transition vers un régime démocratique.

 

Selon les médias, des dizaines de personnes ont été tuées dans la récente vague de protestations et plus d'un millier d'autres blessées. Devant l'escalade des violences, M. Morsi a déclaré l'état d'urgence pour une période de 30 jours, ainsi qu'un couvre-feu dans les quartiers d'Ismaïlia, de Suez et de Port-Saïd.

 

Mme Bachelet appelle maintenant les dirigeants égyptiens à adopter des lois et des mécanismes juridiques afin de garantir la protection des femmes et des enfants, et à promouvoir les droits de l'homme pour l'ensemble de la population.

 

« En tant que moteur de la société civile, les femmes continuent de faire pression pour que soient respectés leurs droits et leur pleine participation aux processus de prise de décisions qui touchent tous les Égyptiens, de même que les principes de la révolution par les plus hauts dirigeants du pays », ajoute la Directrice exécutive.

 

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Article en anglais: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44046&Cr=egypt&Cr1

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"Les femmes dans le monde arabe et méditerranéen"

Université populaire, organisée en collaboration avec le blog Nouvelles d’Orient

Samedi 9 février (10h30-18h)

Egypt-actus's insight:

 

Séance 1 (10h30-12h30)

Histoire et état des lieux de la condition des femmes dans le « monde arabe », avec Sonia Dayan Herzbrun, Professeure à l’UFR de Sciences Sociales de l’Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7. Elle est Directrice de la Revue Tumultes, revue interdisciplinaire sur les phénomènes politiques contemporains.

Séance 2 (14h-16h)

Femmes et féminismes en Iran, avec Azadeh Kian, Professeur de sociologie à l’Université Paris 7 – Diderot, responsable du Cedref et chercheur associée à l’UMR Mondes iranien et indien, CNRS

Séance 3 (16h-18h)

Qu’est-ce que le féminisme islamique ? , avec Zahra Ali. Engagée depuis de nombreuses années au sein de dynamiques musulmanes, féministes et antiracistes, elle est doctorante en sociologie à l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Ehess) et à l’Institut français pour le Proche-Orient (Ifpo). Elle est l’auteure de Féminismes islamiques (La Fabrique, 2012).

Contact et inscription : universite-populaire@iremmo.org

Participation : 20 euros pour la journée (12 euros pour les étudiants et les demandeurs d’emploi).

Horaires : Séance 1 : 10h30-12h30 Séance 2 : 14h-16h Séance 3 : 16h-18h

Lieu : 5, rue Basse des Carmes - 75005 Paris (Métro : Maubert-Mutualité)

 

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Egypt: Rural Women - Hidden Changes At the Heart of Agricultural Egypt

Egypt: Rural Women - Hidden Changes At the Heart of Agricultural Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
While Egypt's uprising may not have given rural women a louder voice in the political arena, gradual change may be occurring at the grassroots.

In the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt, the question of what change the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak will bring about and to whom is still to be resolved.

For women, however, post-revolution Egypt seems to have been marked by marginalisation in the political arena. This is particularly true for rural women who are typically one of the groups furthest from power. But while rural women may not have yet been given much opportunity to voice their concerns at the highest levels of political power, slower and longer-term change may be in progress at the grassroots.

Rising education levels

Although the rural districts of Egypt are often characterised as being traditional and patriarchal, Egypt's rural women are moving forwards.

 

"The majority of men and women want what is best for their families", Lindsey Jones, global gender adviser for ACDI/VOCA, an organisation which has worked with Egyptian women since 1982, tells Think Africa Press. "Once they recognise that greater social, political and economic participation of women will lead to better results for their families and societies, they are generally supportive of that participation".

 

She goes on to explain that there are now "greater opportunities for younger generations of women, largely because they have greater access to education than their mothers' generation". These generational differences are often fairly dramatic. One male farmer in Qena, for example, noted that "when it comes to farming, my wife and I are on different islands. My daughter on the other hand - I can ask her for advice."

Greater education also sets paves the way for greater economic opportunities for women, and this is often recognised and encouraged by parents of girls. "Men and women consistently spoke about how they wanted their girls to be educated and use their education to find a respectable job", Jones explains.

 

Fortunately, the labour market for women appears to be growing such as through the development of post harvest centres in Upper Egypt, though research by ADCI/VOCA already suggests that "women in Egypt make up more than 40% of the agricultural labour force.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Participation in decision-making

Rural women are also beginning to participate more actively in local organisations and politics. UN Women is creating women's committees within farmer associations, which has helped to raise women's voices within their communities. These committees have democratic structures and have benefited from the post-revolution excitement around democracy. (...)

Ownership of land

Another crucial dimension of rural women's opportunities is the ownership of land which often remains tied up in tradition. As El-Mankabady notes, "a woman is not like a man in Upper Egypt; the distinction is strong. We are not advocating for equality, because they are not equal. We are advocating for equal opportunities." (...)

 

Rural women in Egypt's future

While the revolution appears to have had immediate effect in generating enthusiasm for democracy, it does not seem to have triggered the same kind of immediate broader change in rural areas.

However, equality and freedom for rural women is being negotiated through careful development strategies in the long-term. According to Jones, "the two key factors that I've seen contribute to creating change in the rural areas are education and income-generating opportunities for women." (...)

 

Indeed, revolution is not the only way to create change. Improved education, training programmes and initiatives to encourage participation may not be dramatic, but they are proof that whatever the political attempts to exclude women, rural women are gaining more opportunities slowly and surely.

 

The results of that change are that rural women are steadily accruing knowledge, greater incomes and a voice. And with food security a global issue, the people at the heart of food production and distribution could become increasingly important players in Egypt's development

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Despite setbacks, women’s rights activists press forward

Despite setbacks, women’s rights activists press forward | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, much of the Egyptian population is still seething, unimpressed with the direction in which the new government is taking the country and disheartened by the memory of empty promises made before a set of free elections.

 

As Tahrir Square filled with protesters on the anniversary, activists from the region held a conference to discuss the situation for women in a post-Arab Spring era, expressing concerns over the rise in Islamist attitudes and the simultaneously regressive direction in which women’s rights seem to be heading.

 

“This is the time when everybody forgets about women, both conservative and liberal forces,” warned Amal Abdel Hadi, one of the founders of the Egyptian New Woman Foundation.

While women were at the forefront of the uprisings in both Egypt and Tunisia, “this period of transition is not for our benefit,” Abdel Hadi said, but added that “despite all the pressures ... they open a space for us.”

The conference, the third regional meeting of the Equality Without Reservation coalition and funded by Oxfam Novib, addressed issues from civil marriage in Lebanon to migrant domestic workers in Jordan, personal status laws in Sudan and violence against women.

Established in 2005, the coalition works to lobby governments to ensure that the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, drafted in 1979, is implemented on the ground. (...)

Egyptian activists slammed the new constitution, which was rushed into law in late December after a referendum and was drafted by a Constitutional Assembly from which virtually all opposition voices had withdrawn, in protest at their recommendations not being listened to.

 

“The Constitution was a disaster by any standard and we met with the president and told him that,” said Mirvat Tellawy, president of the National Women’s Council.

 

“First, they did not mention any international standards at all and nor did they commit to monitoring discrimination or punishing it as a crime.”

She also slammed the omission of an article committing to the social and economic rights of women and the lack of any mention of the trafficking of people.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

She also slammed the omission of an article committing to the social and economic rights of women and the lack of any mention of the trafficking of people.

 

“We have a long battle ahead and what is taking place is distortion against the judiciary and the Islamic religion ... Everything they are claiming about women is wrong.”


 

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Egypte - La femme poursuit toujours son combat

Egypte - La femme poursuit toujours son combat | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:
Femmes et hommes étaient unis autour d'une cause commune: "C'est avant tout une révolution de la justice et de la liberté.  Par : Walaa El-Assrah



Les droits des femmes sont indivisibles des droits de l'Homme. Pour la première fois dans la société,  les buts sont devenus communs, les mêmes revendications, hommes et femmes unissent leurs forces pour atteindre des objectifs d’ordre général. La parole des femmes égyptiennes, voilées ou pas, se heurte encore au mur de la discrimination... Pourtant l’homme et la femme étaient sur un pied d’égalité lors de la révolution. Les femmes ne voulaient pas être absentes de cette page de l'histoire.Oubliant leurs causes féminines, les femmes étaient impliquées dans tous les aspects de cette révolution : dans les confrontations au premier rang, dans les confrontations avec les forces de sécurité, la mobilisation, l’écriture des slogans, les cris. Elles dormaient dans les tentes sur la Place Tahrir pendant les sit-ins. Certaines femmes sont restées tout au long des 18 jours de la révolution. Des femmes figurent aussi parmi les martyrs de ce mouvement. Des femmes ont été tuées par les forces de l’ordre. D’autres ont été arrêtées et détenues. La majorité des femmes qui ont participé à ce mouvement étaient jeunes, mais il y avait aussi des femmes de tous âges et de tous milieux. Pendant la Révolution certaines figures féminines éminentes étaient présentes en première ligne des manifestations. Plus : http://213.158.162.45/~progres/index.php?action=news&id=19030
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Egypt women find life worse since January 25 revolution

Egypt women find life worse since January 25 revolution | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In the two years since Egyptians first took to the streets of Tahrir Square demanding the end to the oppressive regime of Hosni Mubarak, women have had much optimism over their status in the country, political and socially. Now, as the country celebrates the two-year anniversary of the uprising’s beginning, women in Egypt continue to face hardship and in many ways their position in society has decreased in the past two years.

Egypt-actus's insight:

“We are attacked and the police either stand by or do nothing and laugh as men say disgusting things at women, grab our chests or behinds, so I am definitely not convinced yet,” said 22-year-old Cairo University student Diana Zaky.

She told Bikyanews.com that when she asked police to intervene after three young boys were harassing her in Giza near the university, “they just told me to go home and didn’t move to help.” (...)

Also on the minds of women in Egypt is the recently approved constitution, which many critics say will reduce women’s rights in the country.

Womens groups in Egypt rejected the constitutional draft and dubbed it “disastrous.” It pushes women back at least a hundred years and puts critical issues into vague statements.

The constitution does not put a minimum age for marriage, ignores restrict child labor laws and does not ensure freedom of religion.

The local feminist organization, Baheya Ya Masr, had said that by pushing the constitution forward without widespread national consensus was a threat to women in the country.

The group said they feared that the constitution would pave the way for “political Islam,” which they argued would leave out most basic principles of democracy and transparency.

The group said in a statement published ahead of December 15, 2012′s referendum on the draft constitution that they have observed through reading the draft that it will leave women on the outside of their basic rights.

The group said that the draft constitution includes some “ticking bombs” for women and children, slamming articles 2, 4, 219 which maintain that Islamic law as the main source of legislation and grants Al-Azhar the power of jurisdiction. (Joseph Mayton/Bikya Masr)

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Egyptian women march on Jan. 25 anniversary

Egyptian women march on Jan. 25 anniversary | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

Feminist groups have called on Egyptian women to march to Tahrir Square and the presidential palace on Friday, which marks the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution.

A joint statement by the groups said that the chants during the marches will include ones against the "Brotherhood's constitution" and the "Brotherhoodization" of the state.

Gathering at Sayeda Zeinab Mosque and Gazeera Club, two marches will head to Tahrir Square, while another group will gather in Roxy and march to the presidential palace. 

The purpose of the marches is to confirm that the revolutionary path is ongoing and that it is the only solution, the statement said.

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Un parti islamiste égyptien propose des bus exclusivement féminins

Un parti islamiste égyptien propose des bus exclusivement féminins | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

L'influence saoudienne serait-elle en train de déteindre progressivement sur l'Égypte post-Moubarak ? Ou faut-il y voir, comme le promettent certains, un souci de protéger les femmes du harcèlement sexuel ? 

Voilà plusieurs semaines que le «parti de l'Égypte forte», un parti islamique modéré dirigé par Abdul Monem Aboul Fotouh, un ancien des Frères Musulmans et candidat malchanceux à la présidentielle de juin dernier, fait la promotion d'un concept d'un nouveau genre au pays des Pharaons : un bus exclusivement féminin.

Egypt-actus's insight:
Relayée sur facebook, l'affichette colorée, où une palette hétéroclite de passagères voilées et non voilées occupe l'arrière d'un véhicule jaune conduit par un chauffeur, se veut volontairement joyeuse et attrayante. L'opération marketing est assortie du petit texte suivant: «Que signifie le transport public pour femmes ? Cela signifie que les jeunes du parti vont louer des bus réservés aux femmes, et que si le projet plaît au grand public, nous le proposerons au gouvernement. L'idée est-elle bonne ? Bien sûr, parce que les femmes sont constamment embêtées dans les transports publics». 
Le principe de la non-mixité, très répandu en Arabie saoudite, n'est pas complètement nouveau en Égypte. Le métro dispose déjà de wagons 100 % féminins. Si certains y voient un antidote indispensable au harcèlement sexuel -un fléau qui touche également l'Inde - d'autres mettent en avant le risque d'une ségrégation motivée par des arguments religieux dans un pays où les islamistes sont désormais au pouvoir (voir notre reportage sur le premier café «halal»  de l'après-révolution). 

«Est-ce vraiment la solution ? Au lieu de s'attaquer au harcèlement sexuel, on contourne le problème et on fait des bus séparés ?», s'inquiète un internaute sur la page facebook du parti . «À quand les bureaux et les universités 100 % féminins ? Quelle campagne stupide ! Ça va nous ramener des centaines d'années en arrière. Je dis ouvertement «non à cette idée», s'emporte un autre. Delphine Minoui
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Al Azhar steps in to help achieve Millennium Health targets for women - Health

Al Azhar steps in to help achieve Millennium Health targets for women - Health | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Plans made at a Cairo seminar by the WHO and moderate Islamic Al Azhar University towards the improvement of women's health in a region captive by harmful traditions will be revealed in Dubai. In the name of piety and the misconceptions of religion, many women in the MENA region fall victim to practices that degrade their humanity and profoundly affect their physical and psychological wellbeing - sometimes to a degree beyond repair. The World Health Organization offices hosted Al Azhar University in a collaborative consultative seminar under the title "Women's health in Islam: addressing harmful traditional practices". 

Health experts along with religious figures from the international Islamic centre for population studies and research at Al Azhar University went over the current situation, including the various traditions affecting women’s health and laid the foundation for improvements in the near future.

Dr Alaa Alwan, WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean, stressed that although many efforts have been made towards specific improvements, such as reproductive health issues, real change will not take place until deeply-rooted practices and misconceptions are addressed, awareness is heightened and gender-related mistreatments are exposed.

According to the statistics releases by the WHO, Egypt - along with Somalia, Djibouti, etc - topped the list of countries in the region still performing female genital mutilation.

Citing the WHO, 91 per cent of girls are subjected to this practice and, most shockingly, 31.9 per cent of the procedures are performed by educated medical professionals who are aware of the consequences.

Egypt-actus's insight:

These efforts aim to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, where ten countries in the region are still at risk of falling behind by the end of the specified period, targeted for the end of 2015.

In addition to female genital mutilation, the panel discussed the problems of early marriage and child bearing, which is still deeply rooted in the community. It was highlighted that for females between the ages of 14 and 19 years of age, the leading cause of mortality is pregnancy and birth complications because they are so young and lack of adequate medical care.

The discussion was deemed utterly important in a society where deeply-rooted social and traditional malpractices are associated with misinterpretations of religion, relying on the role of Al Azhar as a highly-respected religious entity deeply rooted in the Egyptian conscience, and a symbol of moderation.

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Les femmes du printemps arabe, toujours fortes, toujours déterminées

Les femmes du printemps arabe, toujours fortes, toujours déterminées | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Alors que les journalistes explorent les expressions telles que l’ « automne », ou même l’ « hiver » arabe deux ans après la révolution, Natana J. DeLong-Bas, rédactrice en chef de l’Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, décrit comment les femmes de la région continuent de lutter pour des droits égaux.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Le printemps arabe nous a montré la force et la détermination de bien des femmes arabes : elles sont descendues dans la rue, elles se sont servies des nouvelles technologies pour amener le changement dans leurs gouvernements et dans leurs sociétés. Cette période a mis fin aux stéréotypes d’oppression et de passivité. Nous avons entendu des voix et vu des visages pleins d’espoir, qui demandaient un changement de régime, des gouvernements inclusifs où les femmes auraient enfin leur place et des droits dans une société dépourvue de toute corruption.
Et pourtant, aujourd’hui, le printemps arabe semble pour un grand nombre être devenu l’automne arabe. Titre après titre, les journalistes se demandent, désolés, si un changement de régime authentique a réellement eu lieu. Ainsi, des inquiétudes se sont faites ressentir sur le rôle joué par l'Islam dans les nouveaux gouvernements. Car, dans la transition, les droits des femmes ont largement été mis à l'écart. Ni actrices ni collaboratrices, elles sont aujourd’hui soumises à l’Etat et à ses politiques.

Mais elles n’ont pas baissé les bras, bien au contraire.

Au cours des deux dernières années, le débat sur la place publique au sujet de l'égalité s'est étendu à tout le Proche-Orient. La plus grande leçon que les femmes aient pu tirer de la révolution est la confiance collective, car elle est le fruit de leur expérience – à savoir la réussite dans la sphère publique ; la prise en mains de leurs destins lorsque leurs voix ont été entendues, même en Arabie Saoudite, où le Roi Abdullah a annoncé récemment que le nombre de femmes désignées au Conseil de Choura (l’assemblée consultative) était deux fois plus élevé que prévu ; le fait d’être devenues des agents du changement, traitant des questions environnementales aussi bien que de la création d'une culture du volontariat ; la collaboration avec des hommes en vue de buts communs et nationaux.

Nulle législation ne peut effacer ces faits. Ils resteront gravés dans la mémoire des individus, et constituent une base qui permet aux femmes de revendiquer leurs droits, malgré un climat qui a depuis été délaissé.

Leur militantisme n'est ni un hobby, ni un simple passetemps ; il est vital pour l'avenir de leurs pays. Et c’est pour cette raison qu’elles ne baissent pas les bras.

A Bahreïn, malgré les menaces et le harcèlement, Maryam Al-Khawaja, militante pour les droits humains, écrit des tweets plusieurs fois par jour pour faire connaître des affaires judiciaires, des arrestations et des cas d’intrusion. La journaliste Reem Khalifa, elle aussi, défie le harcèlement, les menaces de mort et même les bombes lacrymogènes des forces de l'ordre pour protéger des manifestations pacifiques en faveur de la démocratie.

En Egypte, la journaliste, bloggeuse et militante en faveur des droits humains Nawara Negm se sert de Twitter pour encourager les jeunes à rester actifs dans le domaine politique ; Esraa Abd ElFattah, militante des droits humains et bloggeuse – aussi connue comme la « Facebook Girl » en raison de ses mises à jour sur Facebook et Twitter durant la révolution – poursuit son travail avec l'Académie démocratique d'Egypte, en formant les jeunes à la production média et au contrôle des élections ; et la journaliste Rasha Azab travaille sur l'exposition de cas de torture par les militaires.


Plus : http://www.iloubnan.info/societe/77151/Les-femmes-du-printemps-arabe,-toujours-fortes,-toujours-d%C3%A9termin%C3%A9es

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Fifth of women in India and Egypt think internet use is 'inappropriate'

Fifth of women in India and Egypt think internet use is 'inappropriate' | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
One in five women in India and Egypt believe that the internet is not appropriate for them to use, according to a new study looking at female web use in the developing world.
Egypt-actus's insight:

These women, polled by technology company Intel, believe that engaging online would not be useful for them and that if they did, their families would disapprove.

In some communities, societal norms restrict women from walking on the street and certainly from visiting cybercafés – which may be the only means of accessing a computer and therefore the web.

The report, entitled ‘Women and the Web’, found that the women in these countries who did use the internet were almost three times as likely as non-users to report that their families were ‘very supportive’ of their web usage – while non-users were six times more likely to report family opposition.

Intel commissioned the report to collate hard data to illustrate the large internet gender gap in the developing world – with a view to understanding the reasons for the divide in order to help more women get online in these countries through scholarships and community learning programs.

It also found that on average, across the developing world, nearly 25 per cent fewer women than men have access to the web, and the gap soars to nearly 45 per cent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.

 

More : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/9800461/Fifth-of-women-in-India-and-Egypt-think-internet-use-is-inappropriate.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co

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Education Ministry faces heat after deleting unveiled feminist from textbooks

Education Ministry faces heat after deleting unveiled feminist from textbooks | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
The picture of a women's rights pioneer was deleted from a high school textbook because she was not wearing a hijab, prompting fierce condemnation from political parties, human rigths organizations, feminist groups and a number of public figures.
Egypt-actus's insight:

The 2013-2014 school year edition of the National Education textbooks for Grades 11 and 12 were edited to delete the picture of Doriya Shafiq and pictures of those killed during the 25 January revolution.

In a statement Sunday, the organizations and parties opposed to the move also condemned the statements of Mohamed Sherif, philosophy and national education adviser to the Ministry of Education, who told the privately owned Al-Dostour that Shafiq's picutre was deleted after "some religious satellite channels" objected to her not wearing the hijab.

Sherif added that protesters' pictures were deleted so as not to "provoke the feelings" of Egyptians.

“The ministry does not receive any instructions in the process of curriculum development,” he said, claiming that the changes “have nothing to do with the alleged 'Brotherhoodization' of the curriculum and education.”

Sherif further added that the changes were made to suit public opinion and the opinions of Islamic groups such as Al-Azhar, the Islamic Research Academy and the Endowments Ministry.

The opposition statement said that the ministry’s changes and the official's remarks are “unacceptable behavior in dealing with the Egyptian citizen, especially Egyptian women.”

The statement is signed by the Dostour Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and the Free Egyptians Party, in addition to human rights organizations and nearly 70 public figure and activists including, political science professor Amr Hamzawy, cofounder of the Egyptian Socialist Party Karima al-Hefnawy, media personality Bothaina Kamel and former Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi.

Doriya Shafiq is one of the pioneers of the women's liberation movement in Egypt from the first half of the 20th century. She campaigned for the rights of Egyptian women to vote and stand as candidates to be included in the 1956 Constitution.

Aside from campaigning against the British presence in Egypt, Shafiq also was a researcher and founded literary journals. She was granted a PhD in philosophy from the Sorbonne in France in 1940, after writing a thesis titled "Women in Islam, which claimed that women have twice the rights under Islam than they do under any other legislation.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egyp independent)

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Woman living in Egypt fears the worst

Woman living in Egypt fears the worst | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

There's little laughter inEgypt these days.

Once again, Mary Thornberry, a formerFort Worthwoman, is a witness to it all - the instability of the Egyptian government, increasing violence and protests in the streets. And she and others in the middle of the mayhem aren't finding much to smile at these days.

"Egyptians have always been known for their native ability to laugh at life," said Thornberry, who made international news in 2011 by defending herself during violent political protests inEgyptwith a rolling pin after being trapped in her apartment. "Now, no laughter.(...)

 

In Egypt, tensions are rising, protests are increasing and bloodshed is an increasingly familiar sight in the midst of political chaos - and officials have said they worry about everything from a civil war to the collapse of the country.

Thornberry, who moved toEgyptmore than 15 years ago to study ancient Egyptian history, said protests and violence are all around her and the tiny apartment she lives in nearTahrir SquareinCairo.

She is no stranger to violence.(....)

Now, she said, female sexual harassment in and near the square is rampant.

"One day, between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., 19 cases were seen by an unofficial anti-harassment group," Thornberry said. "They were able to intervene in 15 of these. The incidents ranged from groping to rape.

"A female anchor for Sky Arabia was attacked and rescued by a group from a nearby cafe. She was taken to a hospital with bruises and a nervous breakdown," she said. "Some were bitten 'all over their bodies.' One lady had cuts on her genitalia. Where are the police?"

She described the side of the square where she lives as the Egyptian Museum side.

On the other side of the square is the structure that houses the American Embassy, government offices and offices charged with issuing passports and visas.

Much of the violence seen, protests held and general violence happens on the American Embassy side of the square.

But an increasing number of problems have been on Thornberry's side of the square as well.

One protester was shot earlier this week, and another was killed not far from her front door.

Recently, Thornberry got into an argument with a taxi driver that made her fear for her safety. Later, she said was groped on a microbus. "Me!" she exclaimed. "A 78 1/2-year-old female."She has for the most part stayed inside - other than to visit an Internet cafe and her neighborhood grocery store and to pick up her newspapers.

But she fears that more problems loom.

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Women of the Revolution.. Eman Anwar

Two years after protests swept across North Africa and the Middle East, what has become of the women who played an essential role during the Arab Spring uprisings? Who are the Women of the Revolution and what have the changes in their country done for them?

Thomson Reuters Foundation is launching an exclusive video project 'Women of the Revolution', giving a voice to women in post-Arab Spring countries.

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Our Bodies are not Battlefields

Our Bodies are not Battlefields | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

With the current protests in Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood, we are witnessing a lot of outrage about how women protesters are being beaten and humiliated in the streets. The exact same phenomenon happened during the protests against Mubarak and SCAF.


It is interesting to observe that during times of political conflict, a woman’s role is reduced from an active citizen to a “female body” under aggression by the regime in place. Her body becomes a battlefield: a witness on the regime’s brutality and the exploitation of those who want to overthrow it. The rhetoric goes as such: the regime is attacking even the weakest, those should be protected!

 

However, it is just as interesting to observe that most of those who are shocked by the brutality used against women during protests don’t seem to mind the physical, sexual and psychological violence that women in the Arab world are facing every single day of their lives.

 

Getting outraged about a regime’s brutality against its citizen is fundamental. It is irrelevant whether the victim is a women or a man, we should denounce it equally. But where is that same outrage regarding the national laws that tolerate crimes of “honor”, rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence and female genital mutilation? Those laws are surviving through the changes of political regimes, they are endorsed by religious rules and overlooked by the seculars.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

The blunt conclusion is that women are constantly being used for political causes but when it comes to their legal rights, they are left behind. We are witnessing this phenomenon again and again, all around the Arab world and beyond.

 

Women and men should have the same rights and same duties, for better or for worse. The strive towards more justice and more freedom is gender-blind. It is time for us, women, to take our destiny into our hands. To impose ourselves as citizens equal to men, with no distinction. No distinction when it comes to being part of a revolution, and no distinction when it comes to practicing our rights and our private and public liberties in our every day life.

 

Our bodies are not battlefields

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Assaults on Egyptian Women Peak in Protest, Group Says

Assaults on Egyptian Women Peak in Protest, Group Says | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

At least 19 women were severely sexually assaulted or raped in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the second anniversary of Egypt’s uprising, in what rights groups say was the highest reported toll in the country in two years.

A 19-year-old woman had her genitalia sliced with a knife while others were assaulted on Jan. 25 by male mobs, Dalia Abdel-Hamid, a researcher at the Cairo-based Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said by telephone yesterday.

Abdel-Hamid and other women’s rights activists have repeatedly highlighted sexual harassment and assaults in Egypt, saying the problem has grown increasingly widespread and violent since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, 2011.

“The assaults were the largest and most intense as far as we know since the revolution,” Abdel-Hamid, who volunteered with the Cairo-based Op-Anti Sexual Harassment, or Opantish, initiative on the night of the attacks, said. “The attackers were using weapons and sometimes there were four concurrent mob harassments in the street that could be seen from the top of a balcony.”

Male volunteers with the Opantish group, which worked to rescue women being assaulted in the square, also came under threat. “Attackers had knives and bottles; one of our volunteers was stabbed in the leg,” Abdel-Hamid said.

Women in public in Egypt frequently experience sexual harassment and assaults, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a December 2011 report.

 

The ruling military council at the time “continued the poor record of the ousted Mubarak administration by failing to prevent, investigate or punish such attacks,” HRW said.

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The unwanted mothers who are patrons of Arab women’s rights

The unwanted mothers who are patrons of Arab women’s rights | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In recent history, women’s legal rights in the Arab world have often required the patronage of elite women. Initiatives by kings’ or (as in Egypt) presidents’ wives have frequently been a necessary precondition not only to place women’s issues on the national agenda, but to ensure their implementation. As a result of this approach, certain patterns have defined the development of the women’s movement throughout the Arab world. Having a “Mother of the Nation” in the form of a Suzanne Mubarak or a Jihan Sadat (both of whom positioned themselves as patrons of women’s movement) implies that ordinary women lack the ability to make their own needs heard to the ruling elite. This creates the impression that ordinary women do not care about their rights. But can a spokeswoman for the “woman in the street” really emerge from among the upper classes?

 

In the 1950s, then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser initiated a period of social and political improvement regarding women’s equality without any input on the part of his wife. And while women were given the right to vote in 1956 and were incorporated into the workforce due to these efforts at modernization, Nasser’s integration of women was deficient in the private sphere; there was no attempt to reform family law or to improve women’s position within the family – possibly because it was considered too controversial.

 

One could even go one step further and claim that, in the absence of a strong female proponent of reform, the private sphere itself remained untouched; Article 8 of the 1971 Constitution guaranteed the equality of all Egyptian citizens politically, but it did not extend this principal to family law.

 

Since then, the women’s movement would continue to rely on the presence of an elite patron; the only novelty since the early 1950s being that such patrons did not need to be exclusively male – as in Nasser’s case. And with their wives championing these causes, presidents have since circumvented discursive parliamentary process by passing laws either during parliamentary recess or by decree. An example of this was Law 44 of 1979 – commonly known as “Jihan’s Law.” The law was eventually declared unconstitutional “in retrospect” because it was enforced by presidential decree. The content of the law (which, among other things, granted women the ability to apply for divorce from their husbands for marrying a second wife, for example) also made it very unpopular. Subsequently, a watered-down version of this amendment to the family law was introduced to the legislature in 1985 under President Hosni Mubarak.(...)

 

Recently, however, one of the most wide-reaching reforms of Egyptian family law – “the Khul Law” – was enacted in 2000. This law gave women the right to a no-fault, unilateral divorce. Previously, only men had the right to file for divorce without naming the grounds of separation. This was a significant step toward leveling the playing field between men and women and one dare say toward gender equality. (…)

 


 

Egypt-actus's insight:

It does, indeed, seem that Arab women require a spokeswoman from the political elite to make their claims heard. But the ones presently available do not bode well for women inEgyptor elsewhere in the Arab world. “Umm Ahmad,” as Egypt’s present First Lady Naglaa Ali Mahmoud likes to be known, embodies the Islamic dichotomy between the public and private roles of men and women. “Mrs. Mursi” is typical of the Islamist ideal of a woman confined to the private realm of housewife and mother. Will she be the one to champion women’s rights and gender equality?



Still, the questions remain: Why did the NCW need a First Lady as its primary patron? What is it that qualifies elite women to represent the interests of (Egyptian) women in general? And why is it women that from the center of society or prominent members of the civil society community aren’t received in the same manner as the spouses of autocratic rulers? These questions do not necessarily refer to women’s issues alone but also pertain to other areas of civil rights. (..)


The time is right for activists to step off the streets and represent their points of view in the political arena. The present situation is an opportunity for Arab women to prove that they can take power into their own hands in the absence of patronage; this means occupying formal political office and calling as activists for accountability and more input from civil society. The onus is now on Arab women to take that fight to a new level and organize themselves in the formal and informal political spheres without the help of an autocratic mistress.



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Les femmes égyptiennes dans la rue contre Morsi

Les femmes égyptiennes dans la rue contre Morsi | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Par Véronique Gaymard/ RFI

Les manifestations parties de différents quartiers continuent de déferler sur la place Tahrir au Caire. Les slogans sont les mêmes que pendant la révolution de janvier 2011. Les femmes sont très présentes elles aussi. Voilées ou non, elles sont descendues dans la rue pour dénoncer la gestion du pays par le président islamiste Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Dans le groupe de femmes qui arrive sur la place Tahrir, Iman, la trentaine, hurle les slogans de la révolution. Elle porte le voile intégral. Elle est très remontée contre le gouvernement de Mohamed Morsi

« Nous sommes dans cette manifestation car aucune demande du peuple n’a été réalisée, dit-elle. On ne vit que dans la peine et la haine, on ne trouve ni pain, ni justice, ni liberté, et la Constitution qu’ils viennent d’adopter ne soutient pas les droits des femmes ni les droits de nos enfants, et on n’a pas encore obtenu justice pour les victimes de la révolution ».

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Egypte : des femmes virent des hommes du métro qui leur est réservé

La scène se passe en Egypte, là où les attouchements et le harcèlement sexuels sont devenus un véritable fléau, des femmes en colère, loin de se laisser impressionner, obligent des hommes à descendre du wagon qui leur est réservé, et ce illico presto.

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Egypte : les femmes mieux organisées deux ans après la Révolution

Egypte : les femmes mieux organisées deux ans après la Révolution | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Par Véronique Gaymard

Au milieu de la place Tahrir, les tentes des révolutionnaires se sont installées à nouveau : c’est le musée de la Révolution. Des expositions de photos, de dessins, d’inscriptions sur des panneaux, racontent les étapes de la Révolution depuis janvier 2011. Certaines Egyptiennes profitent de ce lieu de liberté pour exprimer leur détermination à faire évoluer le droit des femmes dans la société égyptienne.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Ecouter : http://telechargement.rfi.fr.edgesuite.net/rfi/francais/audio/modules/actu/201301/REP_INTL_EGYPTE_Femmes_mieux_organisees_apres_la_revolution.mp3

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National Council for Women rejects campaigns against unmarried women

National Council for Women rejects campaigns against unmarried women | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The National Council for Women said during a meeting Monday that calls for Egyptian men to marry Syrian refugee women were "a crime committed in the name of religion."

Mervat al-Tellawy, the president of the NCW, said the group would call on the president, the prime minister and all concerned authorities to stop the "farce" which she said was harming the reputation of Egypt.

Egypt-actus's insight:

During the meeting, the council also condemned an initiative launched by the Development and Agricultural Credit Bank to solve what it claimed was the "problem of spinsterhood," telling group members that the council is sending a letter to bank president Mohsen al-Batran reminding him that the bank did not have the jurisdiction to address social issues, particularly so-called "spinsterhood."

She added that calls for polygamy were inappropriate, saying that this would rise the population rate of increase, which is already 2.4 million per year, and that there were other ways of addressing the economic needs of unmarried women.

Tellawy has also sent a letter to Endowments Minister Talaat Afify saying that the council emphatically rejects discrimination in school curricula and attempts to undermine women's struggles after the president repeatedly pledged to uphold women’s rights.

The letter comes in response to news about a report attributed to the Endowments Ministry that says a picture of Doria Sharaf, a prominent women's liberation advocate, was taken out of the national education book for high school students in the academic year 2013/2014. Another picture of a group of female students was replaced with a photo of girls wearing headscarves.

Edited translation from MENA

 

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/national-council-women-rejects-campaigns-against-unmarried-women

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Women’s groups troubled by draft elections law

Egypt-actus's insight:

The National Front for Egypt’s Women announced its rejection of the draft elections law on Sunday, which does not guarantee any representation for women.

After being amended by the Shura Council, the draft elections law was sent to the Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday to determine its constitutionality.

The draft elections law initially stated that women should be included in the top half of electoral lists, but this condition was removed by the legislative committee of the Shura Council. The women’s front had also wanted a 30 per cent female quota in lists, to guarantee that multiple women be included in the lists. The draft law does not include this condition. It states that lists must include one woman but does not specify in which position.

Women have frequently been placed at the bottom of electoral lists in previous elections, giving them very little chance of getting a seat in parliament.

The front believes the law excludes women from political life. “This law is a continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s and Salafi’s constitution…” the women’s group said.

The National Council for Women’s Rights is also displeased with the law. Abeer Abo Al-Ela, a media representative of the council, mentioned that the draft elections law initially stipulated that women would be included in the first third of electoral lists.

“When the draft law said women would be in the first half, we said…it’s a step in the right direction,” Abo Al-Ela said.

“Then we were surprised to learn that the condition was removed…. they are trying to set women back…. we have a long and hard battle ahead,” she added.

Last week, the National Front for Egypt’s Women organized a symbolic protest outside the Shura Council. The women’s front vowed to continue its peaceful struggle and to reject any form of discrimination against women.

The front includes 18 political parties and groups including Al-Dostour Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Social Popular Alliance Party.

The National Council for Women’s Rights is also trying to overcome the elections law. “We have prepared a list of women who may run for parliament across the country, to offer them support,” Abo Al-Ela said. She added that while the council does not offer direct financial support, it provides other resources to help women reach parliament.

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Les femmes égyptiennes après la révolution (podcast)

Les femmes égyptiennes après la révolution (podcast) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

En Egypte, les femmes ont été actrices à part entière de la révolution. Mais un an après le départ d'Hosni Moubarak, la société égyptienne, en proie aux extrémismes, est plus que jamais patriarcale.

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Party pushes for better female representation in parliament

Party pushes for better female representation in parliament | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

An Egyptian political party "Misr" announced on Monday that it holds on to its initial stance of women's status in the electoral list for the proposed amendments in the elections law.

The party's official spokesman, Walid Abdel Moneim, called on all parties to adhere to Article 3 of the proposed amendments to the elections law which establish affirmative action for women.

Abdel Moneim said that the party may withdraw from the national dialogue if the legislative committee of the Shura Council (upper house of the parliament) refuses Article 3 which stipulates the affirmative action, reported the Middle East News Agency.

"We unanimously approved this article in the national dialogue, including representatives of the religious parties," Abdel Moneim said in a statement.

He added that despite the religious parties' approval of the article in the national dialogue; they rejected it in the Shura Council discussions, considering it as a negative indicator.

"What is the point of the national dialogue if no one commits to what we have agreed upon," he asked.

The national dialogue had presented a draft bill to the Shura Council in order to legislate it.

Egypt’s National Council for Women had already declared its rejection of the new elections law on grounds that it does not reflect a serious intention for better female representation in parliament, adding that it does not match the aspirations of post-revolution Egypt.

Meanwhile, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) noted that "there were no women in the constitutional drafting committee, a government reshuffle reduced the number of women ministers from 3 to 2 and a quota for women’s representation in parliament was abolished."

"Following the 2011 elections, the proportion of women in the lower house diminished from 12% to 2%," The FIDH added in a report on women of the Arab Spring. (Aswat Masriya)

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