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I Am Untouchable!” Egyptian Women’s War Against Sexual Harassment

Author: Nahed Eltantawy

In: Khamis, Sahar and Mili Amel (eds) Arab Women's Activism and Socio-Political Transformation, pp. 131-148

This chapter discusses women’s dual struggle in the context of the Arab Spring: the political struggle to secure civil rights and political rights, and the social struggle to secure gender equality. While the former can be enshrined in constitutions and enforced through the judicial branch, the latter is much harder to pin down, and even harder to enforce, because it deals with cultural mindsets and entrenched social norms. This chapter uses the example of Egypt to show how within the actual struggle for political rights, women experienced the worst forms of sexual violence, highlighting the long struggle ahead. It also stresses the efforts by Egyptian women to continue their parallel sociopolitical struggles, as evidenced in their tireless attempts to fight sexual harassment.