“Taboos” is usually a word associated with “Egypt”. A society that fancies consolidating its traditions to pass it along from one generation to the next. In fact, it’s inherited by default that we suddenly find ourselves holding on tightly to our praxis. Women in our culture share most of this never-to-do list, and we will never know the reason. Be that as it may, the rebellion that has been emerging among young women during the last period is quite promising, they are slowly peeling away from deep-rooted concepts they were born into despite the hardships thrown their way.
The ABZ Debacle
Cairo ranking the most dangerous city globally for women in 2017 by Thomson Reuters Foundation has been a great factor in empowering women to fight for their rights throughout the past 3 years. It is undeniable that sexual harassment is an inevitable daily struggle for each and every woman living in Egypt without exception, and it’s clear how they have been fighting tooth and nail to make a change and establish a safe environment not just for themselves, but the coming generations too. I like to see it as God’s way of listening to Eve’s cry for help, the truth coming to light about the alleged sexual predator, Ahmed Bassem Zaki, paved the way for several victims of his and other harassers to come forward and fearlessly tell the world about their experience. They did it to stand up for themselves and in hopes of saving fellow potential sufferers from falling for the trap. Taboos were evidently being broken all across social media by amending the whole thought of how admitting such an act brings shame to the entire family of the victim. The burden that kept adding up a situation after another initiated the move for those women to take courage and be liberated from all
injected misconceptions. If we went back in time, such an issue wouldn’t be addressed by the same intensity.
“Girls who admit to being sexually assaulted are rare to find a life partner”, “victims cause the violence that happened to them”, and “women provoke men to rape them by wearing revealing clothes” are all myths that would certainly get in the way of speaking. Although some of these misconceptions are still adopted by a part of our society, they are believed to be gradually diminishing and replaced by legitimate facts like “it is never the victim’s fault”, and “it happens over and over because no strict sentences are applied”. Despite parents of some victims opposing their daughters reporting, the fact that they insisted is living evidence that this generation is longing for radical modification to the way this nation perceives things. Moreover, the emotional support provided by public figures whether actors/actresses, influencers, or politicians indicates the direction this country is heading and proves how easily we can give up our restricting habits for a better, peaceful, safe future.
Leih La’ TV Series
For so long, it has been perceived that a woman intentionally tarnishes her reputation if she ever decides to live alone away from her parents, as if she is not allowed to have her own independent life, especially in the event she was not married before a certain age. The thought is embedded right into our heads that a girl will never get her freedom unless she meets her man and start their family together, and if she does not follow the pattern, she is likely to be abandoned. The point is the way we frequently tackle it and link it to the presence of a male has caused some to take it as an unchangeable fact and act upon it. It is now seen that women are getting bolder in asserting their personal rights and building the life they will find pleasure in living. How
frequently do we hear now about young female students who had to leave their hometown to move to a bigger city and mark the beginning of their career? And how is that possible if she does not have the option to live alone? So yes, this generation is willing to take down whatever would stop them from living a life of their own, unlike previous ones that had to conform to the guidelines the society drew. In her latest TV series, Amina Khalil decided to speak up for all the women who such an issue causes a barrier to them and what better way to address a case than media and shows?
The events revolve around Alia, a woman in her thirties, who ran out on her wedding day to later shape her independence by moving out of her parents’ house to accept a lower living standard and break all hampering restrictions. Despite the daily difficulties she faces, she insists on owning her actions and gaining strength to reach her goal. Truth is this show opened a door for a lot of opinions to be shared across the different media platforms, and that evinces how much of chalant energy there is to bring these stereotypes to an end. If a woman believes that her living alone will help her in a way or another, she should sharpen her knife and go right ahead.
“Ehmiha Men El Khetan” Campaign
An awareness campaign has been carried out in over 10 governorates of upper Egypt including Aswan and Kafr El Sheikh under the name of “Protect Her From Genital Mutilation” to stress on the damage such an act causes to young girls. It was in cooperation with the National Council of Women in hopes of creating societal rejection of the inherited cultures linking genital mutilation to religion, in addition to introducing the mental and psychological consequences it induces. Such a move mostly stands on the efforts of women in the different wings of the National Council of Women across the
governorates who decided to take a positive step and be part of a great change that will protect the next generations. This marks another good deed, not just by the female figures, but also by the support of the government that showed interest in marking an end to the wrong concepts rooted in the minds. Also, Sudan has amended the law to criminalize such female genital mutilation and lays penalty on whoever commits such an act, which goes in the same direction of the attempts to build a safe environment for females in the MENA region.
Pointing fingers at women have never been surprising in our culture, habits got the best of us in giving ourselves the right to stick our nose into the affairs of others, especially women, but just because we got used to something doesn’t mean it is okay to live on it. It’s about time that Mademoiselles of this age joined hands and were a catalyst in normalizing practices that are granted to men and not to women. They have come a long way but there’s a lot more to work on until it’s possible to establish equality and be liberated from all limiting taboos.
A daydreamer, an explorer, and an ambitious guy who believes in changing the world with his pen and paper. Perfectionism is his motto as he aspires to see the world through different lenses. If there’s one thing he could change about himself, it would be unintentionally correcting people’s grammar.