With Islamist parties having won a majority in Parliament, women are rightfully concerned about what will happen in the drafting of the new constitution, especially with the Salafists — who have called for separate educational curricula for boys and girls and for women to be covered from head to foot — holding so many seats.
Overall, Arab women have made notable gains in some areas: According to Foreign Policy, there are more women than men enolled in universities in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Iran, Israel, Jordan and Kuwait; women comprise half the university students in Egypt. Women also hold a quarter of the judgeships in the region. Fertility rates are declining, from 4 to 2.5 children per woman between 1992 and 2004, and rates for maternal mortality have also fallen, declining 59 percent from 1990 to 2008.
Despite all these changes, women in Egypt face “pervasive” sexual harassment; NPR cites a YouTube video that show Nawara Negm, a female activist who was recently attacked after being publicly critical of the SCAF. The results of Egypt’s first democratic election mean that women in Egypt have a long road ahead of them to gain political and economic equality; that the fight for true equality and democracy in the country is far from over.
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo taken in February of 2011 in Tahrir Square by Al Jazeera English
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.