Creating Safe Spaces and Supporting the Feminist Movement
Despite Egypt’s repeated promises to do more for women’s rights, these promises have not resulted in concrete action. In 2017, Cairo was named the world’s most dangerous city for women due to increased rates of sexual harassment and violence. Moreover, Egypt has one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the world, with 87% of women and girls having undergone FGM. Egyptian women are also oppressed daily by the country’s discriminatory laws and lack of legal protections.
Working with our partners in Egypt, WILPF seeks to create and sustain a feminist movement by advocating for equitable, just, and fair family laws for all Egyptian women and girls; building the capacity of grassroots women, activists, and community leaders; empowering women and marginalised groups in poor and remote areas; and elevating the voices of feminists in Egypt in international fora.
“People should not have to choose to be, or not, with their own military, because at the end of the day, these are our family members, we did not hire them from another country and their main job is to defend the country at the borders.”
Feminist activist, Egypt
WILPF Stands Firm Beside Egyptian Feminist Activists
In a joint submission for the Universal Periodic Review of Egypt in 2019, WILPF exposed the Egyptian government’s failure to uphold women’s rights in the country.
The submission also addressed specific violations pertaining to women’s rights in law and practice.
Read the submission, including recommendations regarding discriminatory laws against women, GBV, and women human rights defenders.
COVID-19 Intensifies Disproportionate Challenges against Egyptian Women
In an attempt to gain a contextualised understanding of the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and feminist movements in the MENA region, WILPF conducted a series of consultations with partner organisations in seven MENA countries, including Egypt.
WILPF’s partners in Egypt pointed to a significant increase in physical and psychological violence, as well as marital rape and incest. They further indicated that the government has used the virus as a way to normalise the spread and intervention of the military in their COVID-19 responses. Read the report and watch WILPF webinar launch of the analysis on our Youtube channel.