This is one of my favorite articles that I thought it would be worth sharing here with my friends.. It's a story of Egyptian women demonstrating in 1919 revolution..The Egyptian feminist movement should be considered as a great history lessen.
Egyptian women make their mark
Women demonstrating in 1919 revolutionOn the morning of 4 May 1923, Hoda Sha'rawi, Nabawiya Moussa and Ceza Nabarawi, three leaders of the Egyptian feminist movement, set sail from Alexandria on the SS Helwan bound for Rome where they would represent Egypt in the International Feminist Conference. This was to be the ninth session of this conference, but the first in which Egypt would participate. This participation was one of the direct outcomes of the active role women played in the Egyptian revolution of 1919. In fact, Hoda Sha'rawi was the chairperson of the Women's Central Wafd Committee that organised anti-British protests and led the boycott against British products in 1922. On this occasion, however, she was travelling to Rome in her capacity as the chairwoman of the Egyptian Feminist Union that had been formed earlier.
During the two months preceding the departure of this delegation, their participation in the International Feminist Conference was the focus of heated debate. Although the majority of opinion did not oppose the participation of Hoda Sha'rawi and her colleagues in this conference, views clashed over their role at the conference whose agenda included many issues deemed inappropriate for Egyptian women.
Naturally, Al-Ahram was keen to follow this development in the history of the Egyptian feminist movement. Its first announcement regarding Egypt's participation in the international women's conference in Rome appeared in its edition of 2 March 1923. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the newspaper did not verify its facts, for it reported that Hoda Sha'rawi and her daughter would represent Egyptian women and that the conference was to discuss women's suffrage.
But, even before the newspaper could set the record straight, an Al-Ahram reader, signing himself Selim Youssef, wrote in to applaud the news. "Could anyone who loves their country aspire to a greater way to defend the reputation of our country abroad and to draw the attention of Europe, indeed the entire world, both to the deep historical roots of our civilisation and to the noble actions Egyptian women have undertaken recently in keeping with their ardent spirit of patriotism and lofty principles?" The reader was also a great admirer of Hoda Sha'rawi, whom he described as "a staunch patriot, an astute politician in the broadest sense of the word, and ever vigilant to preserve and promote the interests of our nation."
On Friday, 16 March, in the home of Hoda Sha'rawi, located at 2 Qasr Al-Nil Street, the Permanent Committee of Egyptian Women was formed. The committee consisted of 24 members, of whom five were elected to represent Egypt in the conference. In addition to Hoda Sha'rawi, who, of course, was elected as head of the delegation, the team included Nabawiya Moussa, Esther Fahmi, Wahida Khulusi and Ceza Nabarawi. The formation of this committee coincided with the first news Egyptians heard about the substance of the conference. Featuring prominently on the agenda were: equality between men and women at work, unified moral standards and equality in education, the nationality of the wife and her autonomy with respect to her husband, women's economic status, illegitimate children and, finally, women and political parties.
Huda Shaarawi upon her return from the congress, she removed her face veil in public for the first time, a signal event in the history of Egyptian feminism .. it was that day that made women in Egypt walk with their faces uncovered, also she was among the first who called for raising the age of marriage to become 16 for girls (she was forced to marry a man 40 years older than her when she was only 13). that's along other demands.
No wonder why Islamists in Egypt hate her so much http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjFFlIyLcRA
i adore the courage that woman possessed
What hurts me most now are the growing number of Egyptian women who actually believe that they are lesser "intellectually" than men. I think the real problem here and most of the Arab world is that the enlightened always failed to convey the message to the rest of the populous.
Hail to Huda for her courage though
How can i forget to mention the wonderful women who took part in our last half revolution.. Cheers to them all dead and alive