Thursday, November 14, 2013

Regarding The Reuters' Poll about Arab Women : My two cents

I think it is never too late to speak about that Reuters' poll concerning women’s rights in the Arab world and its shocking result that Egypt is the worst place for any woman to live in. Even worse than Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Somalia !!
Yeah Egypt is even worse than Saudi Arabia where women can not take off their black Abayas and can move or do anything without the approval of their male guardian’s approval.
Yes Saudi Women “especially the rich” can have access to better health care and education but only with the approval male guardians. The Saudi women already need male guardian to drive them to hospitals official to get that treatment we do not have in Egypt. Ironically this poll hurts the struggle of Saudi women activists who are fighting for real to gain fundamental rights like driving their own cars for God sake !!
In Sudan women get imprisoned and flogged for wearing trousers while in Yemen girls as young as 9 years old are forced to marry. In war torn Syria , Syrian women are raped , killed , tortured and imprisoned for God sake !! I can go after each Arab country to prove my point that it is equivalent hell for ladies in neighbor countries in a way or another.
I will not speak about the progress of women has achieved in this country or the historical milestone of pioneer ladies in Egypt that fought to gain their rights starting with the education right. I will not lie and say that Egypt is the best place for women now but I will say that it is not entire hell either comparing to our dear sister Arab countries.
Of course the poll caused a lot of controversy and angry among women activists in Egypt and they have to be. Many asked about the methodology and the sample,the questions as well the timing of the poll. 
Also interestingly this poll is based upon CEDAW treaty , yes the Controversial CEDAW that many Muslim and Arabic countries got their objections and reservations about that treaty like for instance Saudi Arabia where it said clearly that it would not implement any term in the treaty that contradicted directly with the Islamic Sharia “according to the Wahabi doctrines”.
I am not fooling myself Egyptian women are facing lots of challenges but again just as it is not paradise nor hell , it is only Egypt.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zenobia, I understand what you mean to a point, yes Egypt has been at the forefront of women's rights in the past (I was thinking of the extraordinary Nawal El Saadawi et al.) but in your post you don't really address the "facts" in the report head-on, namely the prevalence of FGM in seemingly all levels of Egyptian society, as well as the staggering sexual harassment figures and stagnant literacy rate among women. It's definitely true that Egyptian women enjoy numerous freedoms that are not available in other Arab counties, but the report shows that there are also women in your country who are suffering very much. Inequality and injustice appear to be rife and rapidly increasing, or so the report says. Do you think that Egyptians will use these results (accurate or not)to become more reflective and critical about the status and treatment of women in their society? Thanks.

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