Soraya Bahgat

Soraya Bahgat

Soraya Bahgat is an Egyptian-Finnish human rights activist and founder of Tahrir Bodyguard, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower women and promote the safety of female protestors in Egypt. Bahgat formed Tahrir Bodyguard in the wake of numerous sexual assaults that occurred during protests in Tahrir Square. Volunteers for the organization patrol the square during protests in high-visibility helmets and vests to intervene in any attacks on women. They also aid victims and help transport them to safe houses or hospitals if necessary.

Bahgat’s desire to protest without the fear of sexual assault led her to found the organization, a non-political, non-partisan group of men and women working to end sexual harassment in Egyptian society through empowering women and raising awareness. Tahrir Bodyguard also offers free self-defense courses and pushes for greater police accountability.

After founding the organization, Bahgat focused her advocacy efforts on larger gender equality campaigns. In 2011, she became the human resource manager at SODIC, an Egyptian real estate development company.