vrijdag 18 februari 2011

Egypt's Women Rally Behind Lara Logan

by Ursula Lindsey

The sexual assault of CBS correspondent Lara Logan sheds light on the constant harassment and violence women face across the country despite the revolution. Ursula Lindsey reports.

Almost everyone in Egypt has now heard the news that on February 11, the night when millions of Egyptians were celebrating the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob.

Logan faced an ugly side of Egypt that Egyptian and foreign women here are all too familiar—and fed up—with. What makes it all the more tragic is that it happened at a time when many here were celebrating women's mass participation in the protests, and their sense that they had reclaimed the streets.

The reaction here to the attack on Logan has been consternation. "Lara Logan, I apologize sincerely with all my heart," reads an online petition being circulated Thursday. "To every girl, woman, mother harassed, I apologize sincerely with all my heart. To my mother nation Egypt, I apologize sincerely with all my heart. And I promise you all that I will try the very best that I can to bring an end to this, in the quest to have our sisters 'Walk Free.'"

"We are all Lara," says Engy Ghozlan, 26, a co-founder of HarassMap, a digital map that monitors incidents of sexual harassment against women here.

Ghozlan and other activists have been at the forefront of a battle against harassment and violence against women here. Even as more Egyptian women than ever attend university and enter the workforce, they have had to contend with a society that still considers unaccompanied women out in public as “fair game” for sexual comments, advances and worse.

Update: I was a mob sex attack victim in Tahrir Square... just like Lara Logan