Last Wednesday, Twitter erupted with the news that Eqyptian-American feminist journalist Mona Eltahawy was being beaten, sexually assaulted, and detained for 12 hours by Eqyptian security forces.
Back from Cairo, with her broken arms in casts, she spoke to Democracy Now about the assault, the recent clashes between protestors and police that have left 40 people killed and thousands injured, and the significance of yesterday’s first parlimentary elections.
Here’s what she had to say about the ongoing battle women face in the revolution:
Women are fighting. We’re kicking and screaming and shouting. Women have been part of this revolution from the very beginning. And women are demanding that whoever wins these elections, whoever gets the parliamentary majority, recognizes that women are integral to this process. Our revolution will not succeed unless women are taken into account every step of the way, because a lot of people, including myself, worry that if Islamist groups do as well as they’re expected to, the already increasing levels of conservatism in Egypt will rise even more. I fully believe that conservatism harms women the most. So, with the feminists groups on the ground that I know, and the activists I know on the ground, I’m very closely monitoring the situation and going back and forth between here in Egypt to contribute whatever I can to that growing chorus of women’s voices saying, this revolution will not succeed without us. Women are a central part of this revolution. The sad thing is, we’ve and fighting on many fronts. We fight along with the men. We fight against the military and the counterrevolution. We fight the teargas. We fight the police brutality, but we fight what I call this fourth enemy, which is sexual violence. And a sexual violence that is deliberately targeted at women to try to silence us.
Eltahawy certainly hasn’t been silenced. Since being released by the police, she’s “been on a campaign to shame and expose them.” Watch the rest here.