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Egypt Will Never Be Free Until It Ends the Terror Against Women

March 13, 2015

In the past week alone, I can tell you how many explosions armed militants carried out across Cairo, how many people are believed to have died from torture at a police station which has become synonymous with the regime crackdown against Islamists, and I can tell you who was in and who was out in the latest cabinet reshuffle.
I can tell you, in other words, myriad men’s stories: men jostling for power, men killing other men over power, and men negotiating over the spoils of that power.

I cannot, however, tell you how many girls were subjected to genital mutilation during the past week, how many women were beaten or raped by their husbands, nor how many girls and women were subjected to street sexual harassment, or worse, in the cities of my country.

I can’t tell you any of that despite the fact that statistics make clear the horrific regularity at which those horrors visited upon girls and women occur. According to Unicef, 74 per cent of girls aged 15-17 have been subjected to a form or another of genital cutting in Egypt. Among those aged 15-49, it is 91 per cent…


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