Mayam Mahmoud

Mayam Mahmoud

A leading female rapper in Egypt has taken to the stage to speak out against sexism in her country.

Mayam Mahmoud is an 18 year old rapper who has been featured on ‘Egypt’s Got Talent’ and performed on stage for the first time last October.

Brave and outspoken, Mahmoud says that her aim is to challenge entrenched notions about how women are supposed to behave.

In an interview published by CNN, Mahmoud, said: “These are matters that are very present in Egypt but no one is talking about them – they are a big problem in Egyptian society.

“It’s about going out there and explaining your experience and sharing that with others so we know these problems exist and that is the way of changing views. Hip-hop as a genre of music is where people have an avenue to express what they feel, the problems they go through … There is less of an emphasis on the performance itself but rather on what is actually being said.”

As a result of her outspoken style, Mahmoud has amassed a large following, made up predominantly of women who also resonate with the powerful message of equality which she is putting across.

As well as forging what looks to be a successful career in rap, Mahmoud is also studying an undergraduate degree in politics and social science.

She says that she meets with a lot of women who share the same views as she does and this has prompted her to set up the ‘Carnival of Freedom’ Facebook event designed to encourage women to get together and make a stand against sexual harassment in Egypt.

Mahmoud added: “One of the strongest messages I’d like to send is, ‘Freedom is an obligation on others before it becomes my right.'”

In 2008, research by the Egyptian Center for Women’s rights, revealed that 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women have been sexually harassed.

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