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.