Media Portrayal of Street Violence Against Egyptian Women: Women, Socio-Political Violence, Ineffective Laws and Limited Role of NGOs

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Author: Rasha El-Ibiary, Future University in Egypt, Egypt
Email: rousha@aucegypt.edu
Published: July 31, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijmcf.4.1.04

Citation: El-Ibiary, R. (2017). Media Portrayal of Street Violence Against Egyptian Women: Women, Socio-Political Violence, Ineffective Laws and Limited Role of NGOs. IAFOR Journal of Media, Communication & Film, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijmcf.4.1.04


Abstract

“Often ignored in media coverage of the Egyptian revolution is how protests led by labor unions – many of them women based labor unions in the manufacturing cities of Egypt – catalyzed the revolution,” says Nadine Naber. Women are at the heart of every social movement that happens in Egypt and the Arab world. Nevertheless, the local media predominantly keeps attacking victims of street violence and sexual harassment, holding them responsible for being harassed. Portraying women, in general, as submissive or oppressed directly and indirectly feeds into the continuing practice of street violence and sexual harassment against women in Egypt. With the alarming statistics of violence against women documented by local women’s NGOs in recent years, this research argues that the negative, unethical and unprofessional media coverage of violence against women feeds into the systematic societal and state violence exercised against women, both in public and private places. It attempts to document the nature of local media portrayal of violence against women, outline its reasons and repercussions, and figure out attempts and possible solutions/recommendations to improve women’s image in the Egyptian media. Through analyzing significant instances of media attacks against victims of sexual harassment in 2011 and 2015, and conducting in-depth interviews with anti-harassment experts, media professionals and renowned figures, it aims to find ways to counter the unfair socially-accepted justifications, and thus help limiting the actual violence exercised against women.

Keywords

Egypt, violence against women, harassment, sexual harassment, media representation, NGOs, political violence