On December 20th, the world witnessed the largest women’s demonstration in Egypt since Hoda Sha’arawi led three hundred women in a protest against British colonialism in 1919. Sparked by the recent police brutality towards the demonstrators, this protest became infamous for the ‘Blue Bra Girl’ video:
This clip depicts the sort of targeted violence that Egyptian female protestors routinely endure. However, the women of Cairo decided not to tolerate this behavior, demanding consequences to the abuse. Prior to the demonstration, the protestors had tried to instigate other sorts of women’s protests but none were successful; the few women who dared to show were harassed for their efforts.
Part of what makes this protest so powerful is the ease and rapidity with which thousands of women came together. Many first time protestors marched in a beautiful show of solidarity, support and intolerance for the injustice of how they were being treated. The women of Cairo gathered and said simply with their presence: No more. We have had enough.
This protest is a huge step towards the future involvement of women in the formation of the new government. The demonstrators have shown that they will not be silent while they are mistreated; the fate of the country will not be decided for them. This historic assembly made a statement that will not be easily forgotten. I can’t wait to see what they do next year.