Nazra for Feminist Studies launches a campaign entitled: “A Shuttered Public Sphere”, as part of the events of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign that starts on the 25th of November each year, which is the international day for the elimination of violence against women, and ends on the 10th of December, international Human Rights Day
The January 25 Revolution created spaces for women filled with opportunities to defend their right to a civil democratic state that preserves the dignity of its citizens and to maintain their right to create a change in private and public sphere that does not violate or discriminate against them. The history of this movement is shaped by women’s participation, who were able to benefit from it and paid the price for calling for change and for being women. Its history extends to their daily struggle within their smaller communities in the households and workspaces.
This year witnessed an escalating violence and backlash against women, women human rights defenders and feminist organizations that included massive wave of arrests for protestors, unlawful arrests and enforced disappearance of women human rights defenders. In addition, it encompassed the targeting of female activists and feminist organizations as well as launching smear campaigns defaming them.
Women and women human rights defenders face grave violations, torture and ill-treatments during detention and in prisons besides the smear campaigns that aims to cast them out socially, which creates a closed-off public sphere that threatens their safety and security.
Within this context, Nazra launches its campaign on the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, while raising the question of women’s rights to a better life in a state that respects them and does not discriminate against them as well as ensuring their safety. These continuous violations and targeting for women whether due to expressing their views or based on their activism as politicians, lawyers, journalists, workers and women human rights defenders and their work on women’s rights does not only represent a restriction to their right in the public sphere, but also reinforces patriarchal frameworks and values in both public and private spheres, which denies them basic rights and incites for more violence and discrimination against them.
Nazra dedicates “A Shuttered Public Sphere” campaign to all the women who fought hard against oppression, violence and discrimination; all women and girls of January 25 Revolution who struggled for a better future; the Egyptian Feminist Movement that is marked by a history of struggles and sacrifices for defending women’s rights.
This year, in particular, Nazra dedicates its campaign to feminist activist, Asmaa Dabees, journalist, Esraa Abdel Fattah, lawyer, Mahienour El-Masry and to all female detainees in Egyptian prisons due to their activism with respect to their different positions as women human rights defenders.