In a statement to commemorate International Women’s Day, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC), Dr Maha Azzam, said Egyptian women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution, despite the threat of arbitrary arrest, torture, rape and disappearance.
Azzam added: “Let us remember that women stood in their thousands in Egypt’s squares to resist tyranny and were harassed and shot dead. They stood in Tahrir in 2011 and they stood in Rabaa in 2013, a peaceful sit-in against the military coup, the worst massacre in the modern history of Egypt and where many were shot dead.”
Highlighting a number of abuses specifically targeting women, Azzam said: “There has been no justice for these women from the abuse and violations they have suffered directly at the hands of the military regime from the virginity tests that were ordered by the military leadership that is now in power, to the rapes in prison, to the killing of innocent women protestors.”
Azzam saluted Egyptian women who are denied the most basic of rights such as visiting spouses or children in Egypt’s inhumane prisons; they wait for days to be allowed visits and are degraded and mistreated by prison officers.
Azzam urged “Egyptian women look to their sisters all over the world on International Women’s Day to support them against the military dictatorship in Egypt and to voice their opposition to their governments support for General Sisi; be it in the US or European states”.
Highlighting western complicity in the abuses perpetrated by President Sisi she said: “Western governments have been complicit in supporting the military regime of Egypt that violates the rights of Egyptian women.”
Azzam pointed to the deceitful polices of the military regime commenting that “the military regime deceives the world saying that there is progress while in reality 40% of women and men in Egypt live below the poverty line. The image of a few women in official positions in a Fascist dictatorship is not a sign of progress; it is merely a cosmetic show of a corrupt elite, not a reflection of the struggling millions who cannot dare seek justice for the crimes committed against them under the dark shadow of dictatorship.”
“Let us call for justice for Egyptian women against the military regime that oppresses them and all its citizens and call for the right of Egyptians to restore their democracy”, concluded Dr Azzam.