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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.

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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.

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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.'"

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.

Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F

Contact Sheera Frenkel at sheera.frenkel@buzzfeed.com.

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