In Egypt, a #MeToo complaint can land a woman in jail

Even as Egyptian women are starting to call it out, they are facing a perhaps unique obstacle, a repressive government that often considers such complaints to be a form of unacceptable criticism. In some recent cases, government authorities have taken legal action against women.

In other instances, like Shamy’s, the women are subjected to a vicious backlash that brands them as terrorists or extremists. These campaigns against the women seem to be modeled on the tactics used by the government to target political opponents and critics.

Shamy is believed to be the first Egyptian woman to file a police report against her superior, a man who works for an influential newspaper aligned with the government. After she filed the report, she was targeted by an online smear campaign, which included accusations that she is a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, considered by the government to be a terrorist organization.