Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 29, 2008

Attitudes on rape beginning to slowly change in Egypt

Increasing awareness and rising levels of public discussion about rape in Egypt seem to be prompting a gradual change in many Egyptian’s attitudes on rape, IRIN News reported on February 19.

The rape and impregnation of Hend Farghali, an 11-year old girl, by a 21-year-old man in Cairo shocked and scandalized the country last summer. Experts like Lilli Dinesen, clinical director of Cairo’s Maadi Psychology Center, think that stories like Hend’s are helping to open up the issues for discussion. “Maybe we need everyone to see and make everyone shocked,” Dinesen said. “I think it has always existed [the discussion of rape] but it is beginning to have more focus with more focus also on women’s rights over their bodies.”

The subject of rape and its repercussions is one that is certainly in need of discussion. Hend was only one of the 20,000 women or girls raped every year in Egypt, a figure that implies an average of 55 women raped every day. This troubling statistic is probably higher as many victims are reluctant to report their cases, owing to the fear of social disgrace.

For the full article, click here.


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