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The Invisible Woman Part II

Egyptian Women

It's quite a challenge to pick just one notable movement that has happened in Egypt's long history. An easy choice would be to discuss the 25th January Tahrir revolution attempt, but that can turn into an essay with all it's complications. What I would like to bring focus more on is the feminism movement in Egypt which dates back to 1919 or even further. In the early twentieth century, women were vocal against colonial practices.




Art work by Ganzeer




During the 1919 revolution they were active participants, alongside men, in the demands for the liberation of Egypt. However, even when political leadership was granted to their male comrades in 1922, women were not granted political rights.

This resulted in them resorting to informal networks of activism, such as Huda Sha’rawi’s founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union in 1923, Zaynab al-Ghazali’s founding of the Muslim Women’s Society in 1936, or Doria Shafiq’s founding of the Daughter’s of the Nile Union (Bint al-Nil) in 1948.


As years pass by government officials fail to listen and see the potential of all these feminist unions and just using female empowerment to benefit their own economic agenda which transformed all these free standing unions into state officials. Failing to hear women out has caused many repercussions that is now embedded in our culture of "well this is the way things are here", getting cat called in the street is just the norm. With the the Tahrir revolution there were more than 80 sexual assault cases that were reported, in 4 days 91 some women were assaulted and others raped. Sadly that is the norm and in worst cases some won't speak up in fear that it is their fault or that they would be blamed.