Street harassment is nothing new to Egypt. Giving women the skills to feel safe is WenDo, a self defence course to empower Egyptian women to handle anything that comes their way.
With 99.3 per cent of Egyptian women reporting having experienced harassment in 2013, according to a study by UN Women, it's an understatement to say that sexual harassment and assault in Egypt has become a pressing issue, increasing over the last decade to a point of epidemic proportions. Harassers are getting younger and younger, lacking self-respect and dignity. Moral of the story: educate and raise your kids the way your momma raised you. Women should have the right to feel safe while walking down the streets without hesitating or feeling uncomfortable, regardless of what they are wearing.
WenDo is a self-defence class at Rofayda Health Park that women can attend in order to protect themselves from any harm that may come their way. WenDo does not teach women violence, it “is a mix of physical self-defence techniques that you can easily adapt to your everyday life and mechanisms that work on self-confidence, self-assertion, and body language. The aim of WenDo is avoiding situations but still being able to react if they happen,” the team says.
Some people blame the way women dress. However, that theory is flawed because dressing conservatively does not protect women from the comments men make, nor does it protect them from the physical violence. “Our aim is to empower women and make them feel confident while walking down the streets,” Yasmine Nassef, the coach at WenDo, tells to us.
Women must speak up in order to solve this problem. Egyptian women must stand up for their rights because, if they do not stand up for themselves, then who will? After attending this class, we can proudly say that it was truly empowering. Nassef said, “ask yourselves this: we all see women being harassed every day; did you ever think you were strong enough to stop it? Your voice, attitude, and body language are your weapons. Use them!” Her words hit us like a spearing arrow. We live in a community where women are looked down upon and are not given much consideration. So, to all the women out there, speak up and your voice will be heard!
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