EGYPT: Egypt Women to Form Frontline of Cairo Battle

Monday, December 19, 2011
Northern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

CAIRO: Egyptian female activists are calling on social networks to form a frontline of women at the stand-off point between the military and protesters in downtown Cairo scheduled for later on Sunday, in an attempt to halt the violence that has continued since Friday morning.

The frontline will be formed at the iconic Tahrir square at 5 PM and will move to the clashes soon thereafter.

Women have been beaten, assaulted, sexually harrassed and groped in addition to getting arrested.

Images and video of military soldiers assualting women, stripping them and hitting them were circulated online to help document the military human rights violations.

At least 10 people died and the injuries are nearing 500 in more than two days of clashes.

The military was taped assualting old women, beating them on the back and on the head. The military also stripped down female activists while hitting them with batons. Editor Joseph Mayton, while being detained all day Saturday confirmed that women have been arrested and mistreated by the military inside the detention center at the Cabinet building.

The call for the women to band together was announced on the micro-blogging site Twitter and is circulating across the activist community and women's rights advocates.

@Egyptocracy wrote addressing those who oppose the call: “To everyone discouraging us from a creating a women's buffer zone, I say thank you. We will still attempt one.”

The army has made many arrestes and while some detained have been released, at least 150 people are currently being investigated at the Saiyda Zainab police station with the presence of only 15 lawyers, according to activists on Twitter.