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Egypt: Women urged to "Speak Up"

Egypt: Women urged to "Speak Up"


Violence against women is a costly and pervasive public health problem and a violation of human rights.

This assertion inspired the United Nations Women to launch a campaign dubbed Mateskotoosh or Speak Up meant to end domestic violence in Egypt.

The campaign which has made an impact uses a billboard on the 6th October Bridge, showing the face of a woman during daylight which merges into evening to show the same woman with severe bruising on her face.

There are many women who do not know that what they are experiencing is violence.

Two new powerful TV ads have also surfaced tackling two of the most gruesome violations against human rights, domestic violence and sexual harassment.

“The ad was done using projection and projection mapping due to the fact that you are not allowed to show violence or harassment on TV. It’s illegal to show what really happens because of the blood, violence and sexual actions. So we found that a model interacting with projection is a suitable way to show reality but in an artistic manner,” explained Marwan Younis, Associate Creative Director at FP7/CA, who came up withe ads.

In Egypt, women between 30-39 years old are most likely to report sexual violence with spouses according to a demographic and health survey.

But despite recurring violent episodes for some women, many stay silent and refuse to report it.

Gender-based violence causes a host of health problems that drain health systems’ resources, limit women’s growth, productivity and hinder governments from achieving their national goals related to health and women’s empowerment.

A third of women are physically abused by their husbands and most victims suffer silently and don’t seek help to prevent or stop the violence because they think it is part of life or they are embarrassed by the abuse.

The stigma against divorced women in Egypt, are at highest risk of abuse; they are twice as likely as women who are in their first marriage to be physically abused by their husbands.

Despite recent initiatives, including a law criminalising sexual harassment, shortfalls in Egyptian legislation and a cycle of impunity for perpetrators has meant that sexual and gender-based violence is still rife.

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