Archive for the 'Campaigns' Category

EOHR launches the “Safe Streets for Egyptian Women” campaign

October 18th, 2020 by Editor

 On October 17, 2020, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) launched a campaign entitled “Safe Streets for Egyptian Women” aimed at highlighting the gravity of incidents of harassment and violence faced by women on public roads. This reality threatens the lives, rights, and safety of Egyptian women. As such, it is crucial that we mobilize society against harassment and violence in order to confront these practices. In addition, the EOHR hopes to shed light on the laws against harassment and rape in Egypt. Reviewing those laws will be at the top of the agenda of the next parliament.

The “Safe Street for Egyptian Women” campaign promotes the following set of goals: 1. Raising public awareness and providing technical support to make public streets safer for women and girls. 2. Improving the quality of life for families and entire communities by creating safe neighborhoods and streets. 3. Strengthening the legislative and institutional frameworks to ensure effective prevention and response to violence against women and girls in public places 4. Liaison efforts between ministries and various bodies in order to make the street safe at all levels, including infrastructure, police presence, and quick response security points. 5. Work to mobilize young volunteers of both sexes to stop sexual harassment and violence. 6. Facilitating access to legal and social services to raise awareness and change behavior at the community level.

The campaign also aims to work on multiple levels such as directing recommendations and proposals to the local administration at the lower levels and the executive governors. This process will ensure that the procedures are implemented efficiently and effectively. The EOHR demands the installation of proper lighting in public roads and taking proper steps to protect sidewalks. The EOHR will coordinate with the various ministries, including the ministry of interior, in order to provide more security and increase surveillance cameras in the street. The EOHR will also wok with the Ministry of Education in order to raise awareness on the danger of low levels of human safety in the street and work to combine those efforts and unify goals at all levels.

In the same context, the EOHR expresses its serious concern about the recurrence of incidents of harassment of women in the public sphere. Indeed, the incident of  “Maadi Girl”, as the case of “Maryam” shed light on the painful reality that women and girls suffer from in Egypt. “Maryam ” was dragged to her death in the Maadi area. Two people, one of them driving a microbus approached the victim to harass her, while the other was trying to snatch the bag from her. Maryam clung to her bag, and with movement of the vehicle at a high speed, the girl’s head hit a parked car on the side of the road, which resulted in her death.

The Public Prosecution announced in its statement regarding the incident, that the victim was seen by a witness in company with one of her friends talking near the car, when a white microbus approached, with two persons inside it, whereby the person next to the driver was grabbing the victim’s backpack, which she clung to it while the vehicle is moving, which resulted in disrupting the victim’s balance, and the vehicle fled with the bag.

The victim’s friend who was talking to her while the incident occured, reported that she moved away in fear, and she added that the victim had stayed for about half an hour at the scene of the accident until the ambulance had arrived, then she passed away.

The Public Prosecution ordered the imprisonment of those accused of murdering Maryam “Al- Maadi Girl”, for a period of four days pending investigations for murder associated with coerced theft.

This incident caused rage in the Egyptian society, which was evident through tweets on social media calling for the application of maximum penalty against those who were found guilty. Maryam’s case opened the door to broader discussions about women’s rights in the Egyptian society, and the need to preserve the safety of women in public places, which prompted the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights to launch the “Safe Street for Egyptian Women” campaign.

Dr. Hafez Abu Saada, the head of the Egyptain organization for human rights, said that the campaign “Safe Streets for Egyptian Women ” will present new solutions and visions to better address the crises that the Egyptian society and especially girls and women suffer from through applying new proposals, approaches, legal and institutional frameworks and remedies.

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International day of the Girl

October 12th, 2020 by Editor


Due to various reasons, girls all over the world face a number of problems that negatively contribute to limiting their rights and freedoms, including false cultural heritages that give preference to males over females, and external factors that prevent females from accessing their basic rights, such as the right to Education, health, work, etc. In addition to some societal misconceptions that limit their freedoms and rights.

From this standpoint, the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl every year on 11th of October, to shed light on the problems facing girls worldwide  and to raise awareness about them. The celebration of the day dates back to December 19, 2011, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted its resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 of each year the International Day of the Girl, In order  to shed the lights on the unique challenges that girls face in everyday life[1].

The importance of International Girls’ Day lies in its contribution to raising awareness of the inequality that girls are exposed to worldwide due to their gender. It also contributes to raising awareness of a number of issues such gender equality, underage marriage, the right to education and health care, and awareness on sexual violence issues. In addition, International Girls’ Day raises awareness about their economic, social and political rights. The day also sheds light on success stories of girls in many fields by publishing stories that contribute to spreading hope among girls and encouraging them to work and cherish themselves.

 Every year, the International Day of the Girl includes a different theme. In the first year the topic was about “eliminating child marriage,” the second year was about “innovation for girls’ education, ”and the third was about“ empowering teenage girls to end the cycle of violence ”and the year after was on “teenage girl power,” and for this year, International Girls ’Day will focus on their demands for[2]:

  • Living in an environment free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, HIV and AIDS
  • Acquiring  new skills towards the future of their choice
  • Leading a generation of activists to accelerate social change

Girls in Egypt face a number of problems that directly threaten their rights and freedom and reinforce the gender inequality gap, the most important of which are: issues of physical violence such as sexual harassment, and female genital mutilation, and the issue of child marriage. In this report, we shed light on the most important data and statistics regarding these issues in Egypt.

“Nada, a 14-year-old girl living in Assiut governorate, was forced by her father to undergo a female gential mutilation surgery in the clinic of a gynecologist, which resulted in her death after suffering from a nervous shock while undergoing the surgery[3]

This was one of the most important stories that recently occupied public opinion in Egypt, which shocked the Egyptian society and forced them to reconsider the extent of the spread of the phenomenon of female gential mutilation. According to a study conducted by the United Nations’ UNICEF, statistical data shows that Egypt is among the top five Arab countries in practice this habit. 87% of girls aged 15-49 have been subjected to FGM in Egypt, with 93% of cases happening in rural areas and 77% in urban settings. Statistics also indicate that this practice is spread in the governorates of Upper Egypt by a percentages that reaches 90%, and this percentage decreases in the governorates of Lower Egypt and the coastal governorates to reach 15%, indicating that Qalyubia governorate is the highest in the governorates of Lower Egypt by 68%, and in Cairo the percentage reaches to 35%[4].

UNICEF attributed this phenomena to the social and culture heritage in Egypt that link female genital mutilation to concepts like, purity and preparation for marriage, noting that there are differents in the rate of the phenomena over the years, the total prevalence of females that suffered from gential mutilation in Egypt in the year of  2000 reached 97%,  recording a decrease in 2015 to 92%, then it reached 87% in 2016. The prevalence of this practice increased to 91% in 2017, despite the policies that were adopted by the Egyptian government since 2008 of punitive legislation for both doctors and parents who perform female genital mutilation on their girls[5].

Despite the efforts made by the state to limit this phenomenon, there is still a need for more efforts and cooperation between the state and civil society institutions to curb and end this practice in the Egyptain society. For our part, The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has launched campaigns to combat this phenomena in many Egyptian governorates. The campaigns aimed at raising awareness of girl’s rights and health, and the psychological and physical consequences of gential mutilation on girls. We are still working hard to raise awareness of girls’ rights and work to consolidate human rights principles.

In addition to the practice of female gential mutilation, we find that the phenomenon of sexual violence aganist girls has occupied public opinion in recent time, especially after reporting lots of cases by girls. According to the report of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics, the “results of the survey of the economic cost of social violence against women in Egypt 2015”, it was found that 34% of women who had previously been married had been subjected to physical or sexual violence from their husbands, and it was also mentioned that about 7% of Egyptian women had been subjected to harassment in public transportations, in addition to about 10% Of them had been harassed in the street, during the 12 months preceding the survey[6].

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights issued a report on the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt, the statement included the  laws and policies that were issued recently to reduce sexual harassment in Egypt, in addation to a discussion on the recent sexual harassment cases in Egypt, the organization also launched a campaign that aimed at raising awareness of the issues of physical violence for women in Egypt.

One of the most important issues faced by girls in Egypt is the issue of child marriage. According to the official statistics of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics, about 117,000 marriages under the age of 18 take place annually without any official papers, which constitute about 40% of the total number of marriages in Egypt. This practice causes many health and psychological problems in addition to losing all civil rights for the wife[7].

Child marriage is rooted in cultural heritage, as many families rush to marry their daughters because they look to marriage as a form of protection for them in society, without taking into account the negative side effects resulting from marriage at a young age. Usually, child marriage in Egypt takes place in two ways, the first in which there is no documentation, and the contract is done orally in front of the couple’s family, or by forging official documents for girls to prove that she has reached the legal age for marriage.

Child marriage reuslts in losing all civil rights that official marriage would grantee, as it negates the rights of the girl and her future children, because there are no official documents to document the marriage process. Thus if any divorce took place, there will be no rights for the wife nor the children. Also marriage at such a young age increases the rates of divorce due to insufficient awareness of the responsibilities and duties. Furthermore, child marriage results in severe psychological and health damage to girls at this age.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights calls on all parties to take advantage of the opportunity of the world’s celebration of the International Day of the Girl to work to consolidate the principle of gender equality and raise awareness of the problems facing girls in Egypt, and to work to create an environment that respects human rights.


[1] United nation, International Day of the Girl Child, available at:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/girl-child-day

[2] United nation, International Day of the Girl Child, available at:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/girl-child-day

[3] “بعد وفاة طفلة في مصر متأثرة به.. ما هو الختان وما حجم الظاهرة”, سي ان ان عربية

https://arabic.cnn.com/middle-east/article/2020/01/31/egypt-child-death-genital-mutilation

[4]  ختان الإناث… ينتشر بنسبة 91% في مصر

 

https://elaph.com/Web/News/2020/02/1280460

[5]  https://elaph.com/Web/News/2020/02/1280460

[6] مسح التكلفة الإقتصادية للعنف القائم على النوع الإجتماعي مصر, صندوق الامم المتحدة للسكان, 2015. https://egypt.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf

[7] ألف حالة زواج اطفال في مصر: كيف حدث ذلك.  https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/

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