‘The Assault on Women’s Rights in Post-Revolutionary Egypt’



Emily Dyer, Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society

Nervana Mahmoud, Commentator and Blogger on Egypt

RESPONDENT: Elaine Chard, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

TIME: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Tuesday 17th December 2013

VENUE: Committee Room 17, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

For a summary of the event, click here

Egypt’s open season of appalling violence against women has shown no signs of ending. Earlier this month, female activists were reportedly rounded up off the streets, sexually abused by the police and left in the desert outside Cairo. A recent UN report revealed that 99.3% of women in Egypt have been sexually harassed and, unsurprisingly, Egypt was named the worst place to live for women in the Arab world in a recent poll.

Despite the fact that Egyptian women were one of the greatest forces during the 2011 Revolution, they proved to be the cheapest bargaining chip for those in power in the years that followed. The Henry Jackson Society’s latest publication, Marginalising Egyptian Women, provides an examination of the state’s role in imposing limitations on women’s rights following the 2012 democratic elections. The report focuses on restrictions on women in the public sphere – from female parliamentary representation to women’s rights NGOs and wider civil society – as well as the state’s position on sexual violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The report’s findings are based on extensive interviews carried out by HJS Research Fellow Emily Dyer with leading women’s rights activists, NGO workers and Muslim Brotherhood politicians, which she conducted during her time in Cairo and Alexandria in June 2013. Marginalising Egyptian Women has been warmly received by those leading the struggle for women’s rights in Egypt. In the report’s foreword, the National Council for Women’s Ombudsperson for Gender Equality, Dr. Fatema Khafagy, praised the report for providing ‘much-needed understanding from a Western perspective.’

By kind invitation of Roger Williams MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to the launch of Marginalising Egyptian Women, with Emily Dyer, Research Fellow, Henry Jackson Society; Nervana Mahmoud, Commentator and Blogger on Egypt; and Elaine Chard, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This event will feature new analysis on the existing challenges and address possible steps forward for women’s rights in Egypt in 2014.


Emily Dyer is a Research Fellow specialising in Egypt and women’s rights at the Henry Jackson Society. Her most recent report is Marginalising Egyptian Women, an examination of the state’s role in restricting women’s public space with a focus on sexual violence and political representation. Beforehand, she co-authored Al-Qaeda in the United States: A Complete Analysis of Terrorism Offenses. She has presented her research on a range of platforms, including the British Parliament, the White House, and the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dyer has spoken about the situation for women in Egypt for Sky News, Voice of America and the BBC and often writes about women rights and human rights issues for publications including The Observer, The Telegraph, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Huffington Post, City AM, The Atlantic, World Affairs, CTC Sentinel and Standpoint magazine. Emily studied International Relations at the University of Birmingham, where she produced a First class dissertation on Islamic feminism in Iran. She has travelled widely in Syria and Turkey.

Nervana Mahmoud is an Egyptian-British blogger and commentator on the Middle East with a focus on Egypt. In 2013 she was featured on the BBC’s “100 Women” list, The Economist’s “What to Read: On Egypt” and The Washington Post’s “23 Twitter accounts you must follow to understand Egypt.” According to The Daily Beast , “few are better versed in the triumph and turmoil of the Middle East.” Dr. Mahmoud has travelled widely in the Middle East, and regularly contributes to The TelegraphDaily Beast and Al-Monitor.


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