Today, as part of the filming for my upcoming documentary about women's rights in the Middle East, I had an interview with Dr. Magda Adly, the Director of Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence.
Dr. Adly revealed a few chilling statistics about violence against women in Egypt. She was very moved and sad when she told me the number of women who had been victim of sexual harassment in Tahrir Square. Many of them were targeted because of what the Square represented during the revolution. Tahrir Square was the place where all Egyptians came together and agreed on one thing: to remove Mubarak from office.
Dr. Adly also talked with me about the impact of religion and tradition on women's lives in Egypt. For example, how sad women get when they discover that they are having a baby girl, and how difficult it is for a wife to bring the news to her husband. Having many girls may even result in divorce, or it is sometimes used as an excuse for a man getting a second wife, or more.
She emphasized that couples are almost universally interested in having a boy over a girl. Even though they both understand it is not the woman's fault if she is pregnant with a girl. She is blamed for it anyway.
It was an amazing interview with an incredible woman, who has been working her entire life to combat violence against women. I'm excited to have her as part of my upcoming film.