Real-time insights into gender-based violence in Egypt

5 July 2013

IDS has launched a new interactive online resource as part of its Empowerment of Women and Girls research programme, which provides timely insights into the collective forms of activism taking place in Egypt that are attempting to monitor and tackle gender-based violence.

Don’t harass me, the street is for you and me - Egyptian protests - taken by Nefssi

Egyptian protests and politically motivated sexual assault

There have been a growing number of cases of politically motivated sexual violence documented in protests leading up to the recent Egyptian revolution. The violence has been used to intimidate the opponents of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood regime and stop them from participating in protests. Collective public action initiated by a number of youth led movements involving men and women had predicted their occurrence, planned for their mitigation and intervened to create a safer space for those protesting.

The resource provides further details of these informal collective actors who have played a crucial role in predicting and monitoring instances of sexual assault. Through their engagement with the media, the groups have also raised the profile of gender-based violence and how it is being used and targeted to threaten and repress Egyptian citizens.

The resource also features first hand experiences from individuals who have experienced sexual assault while protesting and who discussed these incidents at a workshop held in Egypt as part of the wider research programme.

Shaping policy with real-time research knowledge

IDS Research Fellow Mariz Tadros, who has been leading some of this research and has written extensively on the issues of gender-based violence and the ongoing upheaval in Egypt, said:

"At a time when events not just in Egypt but all over the world are unfolding so rapidly, this resource will prove invaluable as it builds research knowledge in real-time by capturing and sharing details of the research process as it happens. So academics, policymakers and activists can access and utilise the findings as they emerge".

The Empowerment of Women and Girls programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development and looks more broadly at how to build an enabling environment for gender empowerment.

Image Credit / Nefssi