With the overthrow of the authoritarian state in Egypt and the dismantling of the buttresses of its power, and with legal reform already underway with the creation of the committee tasked with drafting a new constitution, equality and justice in law and practice now have a renewed chance at realization.
The harsh inequities that authoritarianism enforces were there for all to see, in their starkest, most extreme form, in the practices of the regime that the youth eventually took down. Will the youth now be willing to accept patriarchal authoritarianism sustained by the old family law, a law so out of sync with contemporary social realities—with their own realities? It is very hard to see by what logic they could do so. Freedom, equality, and justice cannot be reserved for some only. For the youth, female and male, who raised this revolution, freedom, equality, and justice are surely non-negotiable, and dignity, the order of the day.
This is the essence of the new feminism, call it what you will. Read Margot Badran's contribution to Egyptian elections. As I understand it not much has changed in Egypt yet.
The Chinese Lingerie Venders of Egypt
And the role of the army seems to have been important but this is going by western mainstream media reports so may be a good distance from reality. This is one of the best articles I have seen on the Egyptian revolution so far.
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I do believe that feminism as an ideology needs to be re-examined in a multicultural light that allows for new insights beyond the standard western models. It seems to me that the fear that nationalist liberation movements eventually and inevitably short change women is causing excessive anxiety but only for a small group of feminists in Egypt and abroad.
Women's Rights in the Egyptian Constitution: (Neo)Liberalism's Family Values
Egyptian personal status laws do need to be changed and so do many civil, labor and criminal laws that are discriminatory to women and unrelated to the question of religion, but there is no doubt that a putting democratic government in place and an end to the repressive police state are indispensable first steps. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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Items is a space for engagement with insights from the work of the Council and the social sciences. The Immanent Frame publishes interdisciplinary perspectives on religion, secularism, and the public sphere. Does the United States need a religious left? What are oaths good for? Interreligious organizing is messy. Kujenga Amani facilitates the exchange of ideas about diverse aspects of peacebuilding in Africa.
If we still have honor and we want to live in dignity on this land, we have to go down on January Your presence with us will make a difference, a big difference! A young Egyptian woman willing to put her life on the line used Facebook to issue this clarion call to her compatriots. On February 25, they went out by the thousands.
During the following days, their numbers swelled into the millions.
The Revolution of had started. On February 11, the eighteenth day of the Revolution, President Mubarak was ousted and the stage of building a new Egypt began. The youth-driven Revolution of , with its call for freedom and justice, is inscribing a new feminism, with a fresh lexicon and syntax.
The struggle for equality in Egypt | Baher Ibrahim | Opinion | The Guardian
Over the course of eighteen days, Midan Tahrir, or Liberation Square, the geographical center of Cairo and the epicenter of the Revolution, became a swirling kaleidoscope of images of freedom, equality, and justice in the making, with the whole world looking on. Saturday, February 12, the first day Egypt woke up without its harsh dictator of thirty years at the helm of a repressive regime, was the first day in the in the new life of this ancient country. Young women and men who had gone out to sweep away the tyrannies, inequalities, and injustices could be seen on this day with brooms in hand, now literally sweeping the streets clean.
With bottles of detergent and brushes in hand, they wiped the walls around the square. In the Egyptian Revolution of , the youth were joined by citizens of all ages—workers, students, professionals, women and men, Muslims and Christians.
It was a populist movement mobilized in cyberspace and through local networks, and acted out on national soil. The new feminism is a feminism embedded in revolution. Yet feminism possesses conceptual and explanatory power, and so we employ it analytically. At the core of feminism is a call for the practice of equality and justice for women, who as a group have suffered historically from systemic inequality and injustice.
Women in different parts of the world—Egypt among them—have on many occasions organized to take for themselves the rights that have been withheld from them. They have done so both in their own feminist movements and within broader social and political movements and configurations. Early in the last century, for instance, Egyptian women formed the Egyptian Feminist Union, to fight for their rights as women while they worked simultaneously within the national liberation movement.
In so doing, they set a precedent for multi-level activism. Egyptian feminists understood from the beginning that the equality and justice that they sought for women was of a piece with equality and justice for all. They tried to use classical methods—the vote, the press, television and radio, and public demonstrations—but elections were rigged, the media controlled, and public demonstrations met with violence, which for women often included sexual harassment, molestation, and rape.
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Reform movements typically involve campaigns focused on particular causes, including causes specific to women. In Egypt, as attempts to reform the existing political system were repeatedly thwarted—that is, brutally rendered impossible—by the state, revolution became the only way, and revolution demands a major overhaul of the political and social order, indeed, that the old system be swept away altogether. In the twenty-first century, the tools of revolution have drastically changed, while the methods of state repression, as we have seen recently and vividly in Egypt, remain archaic and crude.
In exploring the role played by religious scholars in helping to define women's status in society, she focuses on personal status laws and health rights. In examining the issue of women's rights El-Gousi begins with an account of feminism in Egypt: the centre of feminist thought in the Middle East at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.
Domestic Violence High in Egypt, Affecting Women’s Reproductive Health