Women in Egypt : views and ideas

Fatma Emam's picture

On Wednesday 17 of February 2010, I attended a talk of my best friend and co worker Mozn Hassan. 

The talk was organized by the Egyptian American friendship Association, sponsored by the US embassy in Cairo. This talk was on feminist movement and women rights issues in Egypt.

Four panelists talked, Mona Ali el Deen, women rights activist and trainer, Dalia Zaida a blogger women rights activist and director of the Islamic American Congress office in North Africa, Nehad Abo el Omsan women rights activist and lawyer and director of Egyptian center of women rights and my dear Mozn Hassan, women rights activist, promising young scholar and chairperson of our NGO Nazra for feminist studies.

The talk was informative and contained wide range of views, they talked about the achievements and challenges facing the feminist movement in Egypt.

Two points ringed my bells, one by Mozn about the relation between the feminist movement and the social change movements and the other by Dalia about the genderless cyberspace.

Mozn said that feminist and women rights movement should be associated and linked to the societal reform movements, I think that women rights are never a priority in any societal change movement. Women are not on the agenda , that's why feminist should have their own agenda, establish their support networks and formulate their strategies, I do not mean to be isolated but they should pave their own way.

The other point was raised by Dalia, about the free genderless cyberspace. I reject this argument, cyberspace inherited the patriarchal sentiments of real society. Women are censored and harassed in the virtual space as well. I remember the Egyptian lesbian anonymous blogger that had tons of negative comments on her posts denouncing what she is articulating only because she dared to discuss her sexuality and also Manal Bahey el Deen the high profiled blogger who had hard times when she talked about an incident of sexual harassment she faced.

The talk was very feminist and the floor feedback was very patriarchal with some exceptions of good souls.

(Posted at Brownie)

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thanks for spreading the word

arvan's picture

There are not enough people sharing news of this kind of conversation from Cairo, here in the US.  So, I am very glad to hear the news you report as well as your thoughts as a person and a woman.


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