Breaking taboos: civic space in Egypt

Development Policy19 Jul 2017Annemarie van de Vijsel

Civic space in Egypt is under pressure and difficult circumstances are revealing the resilience of Egyptians. They are breaking one of Egypt’s largest taboos: talking about sex.

The Broker recently interviewed Abir Sarras on the state of civic space in Egypt. At RNW Media, Sarras leads the Arabic version of Love Matters, an online platform where young people can find reliable and neutral information on sexual health and also ask questions on this subject – a topic that has always been difficult to discuss publicly in Egypt. Sarras explains that “in the Middle East, young people do not get proper sexual education. This is also absent from their homes. … [There are] a lot of taboos, a lot of restrictions on personal rights, a lot of restrictions on sexual minorities, on women, and a lot of harmful habits.”

But things have changed over the past few years. Abir Sarras sketches the changing landscape that Love Matters works in and how the platform aims to contribute to opening up civic space and discussing taboos. Watch the video interview for the full story:

Love Matters is one of the examples examined in the recently launched publication Activism, artivism and beyond. Inspiring initiatives of civic power that The Broker wrote in cooperation with Partos and The Spindle.

Click here to download a free pfd version of Activism, artivism and beyond.