By Rana Allam
President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi had declared 2017 to be the Year of Women in Egypt, but this is hardly good news for Egyptian women. In fact, social media is awash with dark satire by women fearing what is to come. Judging by what happened to Egypt’s youth in their “year”, women have every reason to fear theirs.
2016, the Year of the Youth, witnessed the continuation – if not a rise – of the state’s policy of forcibly disappearing, torturing and jailing young men and women. It witnessed the detention of a group of young singers (one of them is only 19 years old) for posting songs satirically opposing the regime. In the first half of 2016 alone, 51 civilians were killed in detention centers, while 205 were subjected to torture and ill-treatment, most of them are young men. There are over 60 thousand political prisoners in Egypt’s prisons, most of them were jailed in the past two years, and most of those are from the Youth. Now, Egypt’s youth on social media are sending their condolences to Egypt’s women, ahead of their year.
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- Profile: New Woman Foundation, Egypt