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16 Days of Activism: Meet Hania Moheeb, Egypt
an article by Nobel Women's Initiative

Video: Hania Moheeb

Each year since 1991, tens of thousands of activists from around the world have taken part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. The campaign’s central messages – women’s rights are human rights and violence against women constitutes a violation of human rights – have been a rallying call of the women’s movement. For these 16 days, Nobel Women’s Initiative is spotlighting stories about women activists around the globe.

Hania Moheeb

click on photo to enlarge

Hania Moheeb is a seasoned journalist dedicated to ending rape and impunity for sexual violence in Egypt. Hania is herself a survivor of a brutal politically-motivated sexual assault—an experience that catapulted her into the role of outspoken activist.

In January 2013, on the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, Hania attended a demonstration in Tahrir Square along with thousands of other Egyptians. Hania was protesting against worsening oppression and gender-based discrimination at the hands of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood government. Her demands for peace were met with violence. A group of men surrounded Hania and proceeded to violate her body in a horrific and well-planned attack that prevented bystanders from intervening. On that night, 19 similar incidents of sexual assault were reported from Tahrir Square. Hania survived, and vowed to seek justice for herself and the countless other women experiencing gender violence in Egypt.

The use of politically-motivated sexual assault against women has gained momentum since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Groups of perpetrators systematically attack women participating in public political arenas, such as protests or demonstrations. The acute coordination and pattern of the attacks strongly indicates that they are pre-planned, with the intent to instill fear in women who exercise their political rights. Politicians and the regime have remained silent about the attacks.

Despite the growing risks against outspoken women in Egypt, Hania continues to challenge her country’s deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes. She refuses to be silent about her attack, and has even gone on national television in Egypt to tell her story. Hania looks to the experiences of past female activists in Egypt and draws her strength from their unbreakable determination and hope for a better future.

[Note: Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.]


Question(s) related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?,

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Latest reader comment:

Once again, as they have done now each year since 2009, the Nobel Women's Initiative provides biographies of 16 women leaders involved in local action for peace and justice around the world, and in particular to stop violence against women.  Last year's biographies were listed in the CPNN discussionboard.

This report was posted on November 26, 2013.