Article in USA Today: Uprising energizes Egyptian women

“Veiled and unveiled, many feel momentum, if not a movement”

This article published February 17, in USA Today speaks not only of the revolution in Egypt, but a spark of feminism that is taking place in Cairo as thousands of women celebrate.  This is the first time, Egyptians say, that women who are veiled, unveiled, religious, secular, rural, and urban have felt safe in public and were able to make their views heard in public. Although these women hold different ideologies, they are not focusing on their differences, but on what is bringing them together!  This is a huge step for feminism in Egypt, considering the sexism and segregation apparent (and widely accepted) in Egyptian society.  It is not uncommon for an Egyptian woman to experience constant harassment, especially sexual harassment/rape on a daily basis.  Many hope that the Egyptian revolution will change attitudes toward women. 

Perhaps this “spark” is a beginning of a full-fledged flame that could change a society where women are not allowed equal rights in property, marriage, crime, and politics.  Before the protests, women’s rights and issues were not of concern.  These women and their supporters need to keep this flame alive and protest a sexist society where women are not granted basic human rights, such as dignity and safety.  A new political system is a step in the right direction.  Women naturally need to be incorporated into this new political system in order to see this spark turn into a fire.  The article points out that many feminist groups have been brainstorming about ideas on how to fit women into the new political system.  One such group discussed the removal of references to Islamic law in the constitution and female representation in political parties.

I would like to hear some of your brainstorming ideas on how feminists can help Egyptian women ignite this spark and make social change for women a reality.

-Amanda

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About etsuwomenstudies

This blog is a collaborative effort from the students, faculty, and feminist souls in the East Tennessee State University Women's Studies Department. We simply want to share daily thoughts with the world and encourage not only feminist thought, but awareness, tolerance, diversity, equality, justice, and social progress. Women's Studies is an exciting, interdisciplinary area of study that celebrates women's lives. It examines how diverse women have contributed to history, social processes, culture, politics and economics, as well as how all of these have shaped women's experiences. Our program provides new ways of looking at common assumptions about femininity and masculinity and teaches students how to connect what they study with how they live and work. We also explore how gender intersects with ability, age, class, culture, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, and sexuality. Our Leadership through Diversity focus promotes a creative struggle for justice and equality. We train graduates to be leaders in both civic engagement and the workforce. The Women's Studies Program at ETSU is comprised of dedicated faculty and staff and socially conscious students coming together from a wide range of disciplines.

Posted on February 21, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Here is another good article on women in the Egyptian revolution: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/02/2011217134411934738.html

  2. I also want to comment that education is a huge factor in helping women in oppressive societies. We often take our education and ability to attain an education for granted. In many societies, everyone is not guaranteed the opportunity of obtaining an education. Education is especially important in this situation. An uncensored education can help women realize their value and their rights. They are also exposed to different societies and their ideas, which can help contribute to their movement toward liberation.

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