Global Roundup: Calls to Toughen Sentencing for Domestic Violence in Egypt, Iraqi LGBTQ+ Community Outraged Over Trans Woman's Murder, First Netflix Arabic Language Film Stirs Controversy
Curated by FG Intern Jana Kortam
Egyptian MP Amal Salama (photo: Khaled Mashaal) Ahram Online
TW: Domestic Violence
Lawmaker Amal Salama has asked the Egyptian Parliament to toughen penalties for men who beat their wives with imprisonment for up to five years. Salama said she has introduced the draft law because the penal code did not include appropriate penalties for domestic violence.
If approved by the House of Representatives, an abusive husband may face a jail sentence of up to five years and a minimum of three years instead of the current maximum one-year sentence.
Salama said statistics from the National Council for Women show that about 8 million Egyptian women were subjected to violence and a further 86 percent of wives were subjected to beatings.
The presence of domestic abuse annoyed all of Egypt, not just me. When a child watches their father beat and assaults their mother, it creates a generation unable to strive, Research shows 86% of women are subjected to domestic abuse in Egypt 50% of abuse in Egypt is due to domestic abuse towards women. - Amal Salama
Salama’s proposed revision to the penal code has stirred controversy in Egypt, where the majority of people are Muslim and many turn to Islamic scholars for their opinions. And it prompted attacks on Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb by women's rights advocates over remarks he made on Egyptian TV in 2019. Al Azhar, where many scholars from across the world study, is the seat of Sunni Muslim learning.
In the clip, Tayeb says it is permissible for a husband to hit a “disobedient” spouse "to preserve the family."
There are no views and counterviews with regards to humiliating or abusing women; there is no good faith in relation to husbands beating their spouses — gently or otherwise. There are no laws allowing husbands to discipline their spouses. Hitting anyone is a crime punishable by law in Egypt. - National Council for Women secretary-general Maya Morsy
Photos from Instagram via The Advocate
TW: Transphobic violence
The Iraqi LGBTQ+ community is mourning the death of Doski Azad, a transgender Kurdish woman who worked as a makeup artist. She was shot twice, allegedly by her estranged brother who since fled the country.
Her body was found in the village of Mangesh, near the city of Duhok, after police received a phone call apparently from the victim's other brother.
Chakdar Azaad is said to have flown in from Germany and executed Doski in the name of “honour,” local media reported. He then fled the country and has not been arrested yet.
Doski’s friends described her as reliable so it was out of character for her to not show up to a scheduled meeting, which drew suspicion and concerns for her.
Doski received multiple threats from her family after she came out and documented her transition on social media.
Hayfa Doski, a women’s rights activist in Duhok, said Azad’s killing has sent fear through many vulnerable groups.
But transgender people, in particular, have been gravely concerned about this killing..They already feel discriminated against in our society and attacks like this only exacerbate those fears. - Hayfa Doski
The discrimination comes from local authorities too. Last April it was reported that Kurdish security forces arrested at least eight gay men in the city of Sulaymaniyah.
Pishkoo Zandi, a human-rights activist, said these sorts of murders usually go unreported in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region because queer people are treated as invisible.
The governmental system is homophobic, and the media is homophobic, too. They don't want to say anything about us. - Pishkoo Zandi
“Perfect Strangers” tells the story of friends who play a game over dinner. (Courtesy of Netflix)
The Arabic adaptation of the popular Italian film “Perfect Strangers,” which is Netflix’s first Arab original film, is sparking controversy in Egypt and across West Asia by flaunting taboos including homosexuality and the portrayal of women’s sexuality.
An unhappy wife’s search for satisfaction in sexting with strangers and a gay character who comes out are just two of several taboo-breaking storylines in the Arabic movie adaptation, starring Egyptian star Mona Zaky, who has been a particular target of attacks since the film streamed on Netflix.
The plot, similar to the original, involves a group of friends who gather around a dinner table and play a game that exposes their secrets based on their phone notifications.
Anger towards the film has centered around actor Fouad Yaemine's character—a gay man who wasn’t portrayed negatively, hinting at the normalization of homosexuality. Additionally, Mona Zaki’s character, a married woman who has an affair, was shown taking off her underwear in one scene for which she was accused of promoting immorality and infidelity.
An Egyptian lawmaker has accused the film of violating Egyptian family values and wants Netflix banned. A lawyer filed a lawsuit to ban the movie from Egypt.
The actor’s union defended Mona Zaki after calls for her expulsion.
We will not stand idle in front of any verbal assault or attempt to intimidate any Egyptian artist. - Actor’s Union
Jana Kortam (she/they) is a sociology and feminist and gender studies student at the University of Ottawa. They are experienced at advocating against gender-based inequality especially in the SWANA community. They are actively engaging with intersectional feminist ideologies in order to radically smash the patriarchal supremacist society.
She believes that in order to be able to achieve justice, we must offer a microphone for minority voices unheard rather than narrate their stories for them.