Persecution, prosecution, and public shaming have blown a new wave of solidarity among women in Egypt.
Each morning, one of the women, ‘Mona Eltahawy,’ post the same message to her followers on Twitter in which she mentions, “Starting my day and sending love and solidarity to you all.”
For her to show solidarity to her mainly female followers has become important for the Egyptian-American women as per social media activists, who belongs to the leading figures in supporting the Arab women in their fight against emotional and sexual harassment, discrimination, public shaming and persecution.
She even stood by the women, who was a teacher by profession and was criticised badly on various social media platforms for showing her belly dance moves. People criticized her and also passed derogatory remarks on several social media platforms.
As a result of this kind of public shaming on social media, Youssef lost her job as a teacher, and even her husband filed a divorce case in court.
According to Nihad Abu al-Qumsan, the head of the prominent Cairo-based Egyptian centre for Women Rights, “I heard of Aya facing a massive attack, which left her isolated, jobless and divorced, that’s why I offered her a job. But, I wanted to support and show her that she is not alone in this fight.”
For al-Qumsan, it was equally essential that Youssef know “that she did not do something wrong, she showed her joy, and this is not at all a mistake.”
After getting so much support online and by al-Qumsan, the authorities eventually offered her a different job at another school.
However, in 2018, Fathy had criticised the government of Egypt for not supporting and protecting women from sexual harassment. As a result, she was charged and imprisoned for two years for “spreading fake news to harm the Egyptian state and public insult.”
Misogyny is the beating heart of authoritarianism. That is why Amal Fathy is being punished for exposing sexual violence.
When you punish women who expose sexual violence, what other message are you sending out other than patriarchy enables and protects misogyny? #Egypt
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) January 13, 2022