Egyptian Marketing Manager Wins Court Case Banning Virginity Test

Samira Ibrahim during a rally on Dec. 27. Photo: AP/Ahmed Ali

A 25-year-old marketing manager, Samira Ibrahim, has won her case against the Egyptian government, banning virginity tests that have been performed on women arrested during the March protests in Tahrir Square.

CNN reports that the tests will no longer be performed in military prisons and on those in “temporary detention.” Authorities denied that the tests were being performed before admitting it later. Ibrahim says she was tortured and humiliated by the authorities and has received death threats since launching the case.

“I will not give up my rights as a woman or a human being,” she said.

Women have moved into the forefront of the ongoing changes in Egypt. Last week, images of a young female protester being brutally beaten by the Egyptian military — the “blue bra girl” –incited the hugest protest of women in Egypt in nearly a century.

Mona Eltahawy published a story in The Guardian giving her account of the attack. She says as she was being beaten, her mind went immediately to her smartphone.

“It wasn’t the Twitterholic in me that threw herself after the phone, but the survivor. For the first three or four hours of detention, I knew they could do anything and no one would know,” she writes. Later, she says she was able to sign on to Twitter through another phone and tweet her whereabouts.

The two cases come as women still struggle to find a voice in the politics of the new Egypt. A female candidate for president, who certainly won’t win the election, is furthering the effort to bring women into the political process.

A female university student, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, has also made waves, first by posting a nude photo of herself and then for asking women to send her photos of themselves sans veil to post on her site.