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Social media users call out Sisi's show of concern for women's rights

Social media users responded to Sisi crying at the World Youth Forum in Egypt after an IS victim recounted her story on stage
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi sparked controversy once again as he purported to support women's rights during the World Youth Forum conference hosted in Sharm El Sheikh this week.

Video clips circulated on social media on Tuesday showed Sisi crying during a speech by Lamiaa Haggy, a 19-year-old Yazidi activist, as she recounted her ordeal at the hands of Islamic State fighters.

As Haggy spoke of being taken by IS, separated from her family, and then sold in Syria, the cameras turned to a teary eyed, wet-cheeked Sisi. 

Commenting on her words, Sisi said: “Women empowerment is a right and not a privilege".

But many Egyptians showed that they were not convinced, with social media users highlighting the abuse women face in Egypt while "Sisi watches with no shame".

Translation: The most disgusting thing is to see Sisi crying about an Iraqi girl who was abused by Daesh, while in Egypt women are raped and Sisi watches with no shame.

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Women's rights was not the only issue that got people talking during the World Youth Forum. The official conference hashtag, #WeNeedToTalk, backfired as Egyptians took to social media to criticise Sisi, highlighting human rights abuses in Egypt under his leadership.

Egyptian lawyer and rights activist Gamal Eid posted an image on twitter drawing similarities with cases in Egypt.

Translation: Did Sisi recall while he was crying at the Yazidi girls speech the sexual abuse of Egyptian women through the virginity tests he imposed? Or the girl that his forces undressed?

Egypt experienced an “unprecedented spike in enforced disappearances since early 2015,” Amnesty International reported last year.

Hundreds of students, protestors and political activists, some as young as 14 years old, have "vanished without a trace" at the hands of the state, it said.

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