Egypt: Women Against SCAF – Who Wins?

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Almost a year into Egypt's revolution in which millions of people took to the streets calling for dignity, freedom and social equality, the series of violations against women continues. It has been a year during which the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt's military ruler, abhorrently abused Egyptian women sexually, physically, and emotionally – yet not beyond repair.

The world woke up today to see that Egypt had made the headlines again with a photograph of military officers ferociously beating a veiled girl and stripping her off her clothes during the #OccupyCabinet sit in dispersal attempt.

For three weeks, activists have been staging a sit-in outside the Cabinet headquarters in Cairo, protesting against the military appointment of Kamal El Ganzouri as the new Prime Minister of Egypt earlier this month. Ten people were killed and around 500 injured as soldiers battled with protesters in and around Tahrir Square since December 16. The atrocities committed by the soldiers against women shocked the world.

Dalia Ezzat posted a video to show the violent act committed against the veiled female protester I mention earlier:

@Daloosh: And if the picture wasn't enough. Here's the video of #SCAF ‘s outrageous use of violence with a woman

This video showing men in military uniform savagely beating and undressing a veiled woman was widely circulated online and covered by the media.

If not for the stripping act that might have happened unintentionally, I urge you to please watch closely the military officer foot hitting the girl in the face and chest over and over. The amount of rage and violence is unjustifiable.

Last night, there were calls to stop circulating the girl's photograph, in order not to embarrass her. But netizens has said their word, when they emphasised that the shame was SCAF's and not her.

Egyptian columnist Mona El Tahawy challenges:

@monaeltahawy: We will not be silenced. We will tell everyone, who wants to hear or not. The shame belongs to police & #SCAF, not to us women of #Egypt

Amira Aly clarifies:

@FEM4Ever: SCAF reduced her to #BlueBraGirl we shouldn't. She is Freedom and Dignity and Courage. She is the true #EgyptGal

Mona Seif, an outspoken Egyptian blogger and activist who has been detained and tortured along with her sister, confirms that the girl in the video is not detained but is recovering – I suppose physically not emotionally – but her identity will not be revealed [ar]:

البنت اللي ظهرت في الصور بتتعرى و بيعتدوا عليها مش محتجزة،خرجت و بتحاول تتعافى. هنلتزم بعد الإعلان عنها حماية ليها و لخصوصيتها.أرجوكو تفهموا
@Monasosh: The girl who appeared in the video being undressed is not detained, she is out and recovering. We will refrain from revealing her identity in order to guarantee her privacy

Acts of violence against protesters also included an attack on a senior Egyptian woman, in order for this demographic not to feel left out! Here is an image Ahmed Shokeir shared on Twitter with the following comment [ar]:

جيش العار
The army of shame
An Egyptian soldier is seen attacking an elderly woman in this photograph

An Egyptian soldier is seen attacking an elderly woman in this photograph shared by Ahmed Shokeir on Twitter

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.


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