September 21, 2017

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  • Maids and marginality in Cairo: Why legal reform isn’t enough

    Widespread poverty in Egypt has driven many women into domestic service, where income can be significantly higher than other available low-threshold ‘female’ jobs.

    BY RAHMA BAVELAAR Cairo – On a summer morning in 2012 at 6am, Nadya pulls a black abaya over her colorful housedress, wistfully pins her rectangular headscarf under her chin, locks the door behind her two young daughters and steps into the oncoming heat. On a good day, it takes her two hours to get from the narrow unpaved alley in the densely populated working class neighborhood of al-Marg, to the landscaped compound in the wealthy new desert suburb of Shaykh Zayd, where she works as a maid. This summer, frequent power outages on the underground metro network, numerous strikes…

    Op-ed: Rape of a nation

    Screen grab shows 48-year-old Hamada Saber being assaulted by police during an anti-Morsi protest near the Presidential Palace.

    BY REHAM BARAKAT Last December India witnessed a horrifying gang rape crime in Delhi. A 23-year-old woman was raped by five men on a bus. I won’t get into the morbid details, but suffice it to say that the victim of this barbaric act has died of her injuries. We have been brought up naively and falsely to believe that incidents of this kind do not happen in Egypt. But I remember thinking that when news of the Delhi rape broke that surely similar crimes are committed in our nation but are hardly ever reported or covered by the media….

    Op-ed: Listen to the women, Morsi

    The assertive women's vote may well tip the balance towards a more liberal democracy in Egypt in the future.

    BY WAFAA WALI I volunteered as a civil proctor in the second round of the referendum on Egypt’s new constitution. I had been part of the revolution since the beginning, have done the walks, cheering, dangerous bits and pieces, contributions, distribution of flyers and collection of data.  But I have not become a member of any political or social group. I still somehow value my position as an officially non-aligned member of the community. I attended the crash training session on the rights and role of a civil proctor the night before the event. Early next day, a bus drove…

    Shaymaa Kamel bares her soul in “Roh”

    "Freedom" (2009) by Shaymaa Kamel.

    BY YASMINE ALLAM Last February Shaymaa Kamel showed a series of large canvases populated by rows of fictional animals dressed in suits. To her, these creatures symbolized the tyranny of successive political leaderships in Egypt, out of touch with their own humanity and their people. The undisguised political nature of this message was a departure from Kamel’s previous work, which had been dominated by far more private and visceral portrayals of her own ongoing quest for identity and introspection. For the first time, Kamel’s current solo exhibition “Roh” (Soul) at Tache Art Gallery, brings under one roof, paintings shown in…

    Women unconcerned with Sharia

    A recent Gallup report found that women are as likely as men to favor Sharia as a source of legislation.

    BY DALIA RABIE Cairo: At a time when a newly elected Islamist president is seen as a direct threat to women’s rights, a recent poll showed that Egyptian women are as likely as men to favor Sharia as a source of legislation, stating that their top concerns are rather economic and social development as well as security. Forty-four percent of women said they want Sharia as a source of new legislation, compared to 50 percent of men. While 38 percent of women said they prefer it to be a source of legislation, but not the main one, compared to 37…

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