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In Egypt, A Movement To Place Women In The Public Eye

Women on Walls is a graffiti campaign designed to educate Egyptians about the difficulties faced by the country’s female population.

1. Women on Walls just completed its most recent project in Cairo. The group of more than 60 artists tackles subjects ranging from sexual harassment to female genital mutilation.

Women on Walls

2. BuzzFeed spoke to the group, and asked its members to describe their newest work.

3. “The drawing is of a hand that says ‘enough’ to all the negative things faced by women; and the woman’s face is full of eyes because she can see her future and is able to choose her own future.”

Women on Walls

Artist: Salma Gamal.

4. “‘I am not a license for your eyes!’” The implication is that no one has the right to judge or classify a female based on her looks.

Women on Walls

Artist: Khadiga el Ghawas.

5. “The two sides of a female, the split face.”

Women on Walls

The artist Enas Awad described her work: “The split face reflects the alternating roles of the Egyptian female. The first half of the face reflects the pharaonic female who ruled one of the greatest and strongest civilizations in history; and as time passed, there appeared the second half, especially in the eyes of society — the female that is restricted, has no equal rights to participation in society and in the workforce. This side of the female has been forced to retreat from society, by society, as is reflected in her uncertain features beneath layers of clothing … she is treated as though it was shameful to have been born female.”

6. “She is representative of the oppressed female in the society, whose rights are lost and has no voice.”

Women on Walls

Artist: Maamoun el Zaem.

7. “This is a mixed-media piece that reflects on the modern-day Egyptian female in 2014, who is progressing and adapting to all the changes taking place around her while keeping with the ways and styles of older traditions of Egypt.”

Women on Walls

Artist: Gaz.

8. “The female in her most beautiful of states.”

Women on Walls

Artist: Sam901.

9. “The female suffers a great deal in Arab societies. This piece illustrates the struggles of the female as she covers her eyes with her hands, on the back of which is written ‘freedom.’”

Women on Walls

Artist: Tefa.

10. Dozens of other images have been created by Women on Walls. “The point is to empower women through street art. We want women to see themselves as part of the public space,” said Angie Balata, one of WOW’s founders.

Women on Walls

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Sheera Frenkel is a Middle East correspondent for BuzzFeed News.
Contact this reporter at Sheera.Frenkel@buzzfeed.com
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