Egyptian Military’s Treatment of Women Draws Ire of Clinton

Sec. Clinton says the military’s abuse of women is stifling the country’s progress.

Posted: 12/22/2011 10:12 AM EST
Hillary Clinton

Just months after Egyptians of all genders captivated the world when they gathered together in Tahrir Square to protest the regime of former leader Hosni Mubarak, new evidence of the military’s brutal treatment of female demonstrators has outraged women in Egypt and one high-profile woman back in the U.S. — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

After reports of violence surfaced, backed by graphic YouTube videos and photos, Clinton railed against the behavior that she says “dishonors the revolution.” The video shows women being stripped, beaten and dragged by their hair through the streets. In addition, many women have reported that while in military custody, they have been subject to further beatings and molestation.

 

"This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people," She said in a speech at Georgetown University. "Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago.”

 

Tuesday, female activists took to the streets of Cairo in solidarity with the abused women to protest the military’s actions. Despite Egyptian Army Council member General Adel Emara's dismissal of the damning video as an isolated incident, the Egyptian military reportedly expressed “deep sorrow” over the abuses of women’s rights that took place and assured that those responsible will be held legally liable, Al Jazeera reports.

 

However sincere the words, protesters are still planning to stage a mass rally on Friday to demand a formal apology for the attacks on women.

 

"Our demands to the military are - enough, they have proven that they failed during this last period. Not only were they unable to protect the country, they were unable even to protect women in the streets," Salwa, an Egyptian female protester told Voice of America.


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(Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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