The United Nations estimates a staggering 99 percent of women in Egypt experience gender-based violence. Over 2,000 girls and women in Cairo’s most vulnerable five slums fall victim to sexual and domestic violence every year.
In 2011, I founded Aspire, the only organization that operates in Cairo’s fragile, marginalized communities to help young women and provide specialized support resources to violence survivors and victims of abuse. Our goal is to mobilize the community to create a cultural shift and empower women through awareness, education, self-defense and support resources for survivors.
Aspire targets marginalized women as well as their children in the five most vulnerable slums in Cairo. It establishes support networks for violence survivors, women’s rights activists and volunteers though community-based victim centers, legal clinics, reproductive health and rights classes, self-defense trainings, counseling sessions, and self-esteem workshops.
“Since the Egyptian revolution, the country has become deeply polarized. The conflicts in society have expanded on so many levels, and the transformation of these conflicts is impossible without gendered lenses that take into account gender-based violence victims.”