Gender issues

 

Feminism’s Egyptian roots

March 2017 – Women’s liberation is generally believed to have started in the West but the roots of female emancipation go back millennia, to ancient Egypt.

The mirage of the meek Muslim woman

August 2016 – Incurable misogynist Donald Trump has Muslim women all wrong. They are not silent and submissive.

One man’s terrorist is another woman’s lover

March 2016 – The surreal “lovejacking” of an EgyptAir flight adds a new dimension to the western image of the Arab man: the hopeless romantic and dedicated lover.

Birth behind bars

March 2016 – A new Palestinian film fictionalises the plight of female Palestinian prisoners of conscience in Israel: from hunger-striking to child birth.

Sexual harassment, Islam and the politicisation of women’s bodies

January 2016 – Sexual harassment in Cologne and elsewhere is not about Islam. It is about the patriarchy and the politicisation of women’s bodies.

Podcast: Palestine’s poster girls

January 2016 – The changing depiction of women in Palestinian political art reflects the shifting perceptions of their role and position in society.

When Palestinian women take up arms

December 2015 – The shock elicited by Palestinian women taking up arms is due to local sexism and orientalist stereotyping, not historical or social reality.

Reweaving Palestinian tradition

November 2015 – Untha is a rare Jerusalem-based label which reimagines traditional Palestinian fashions for the 21st century and pays tribute to Palestinian women.

Hijabs and the beautiful game

September 2015 – Despite their conservative reputation, a growing number of veiled Muslim women are taking up football… and giving men a run for their money.

Making halal sexy

May 2015 – Though halal sex may sound as logical as kosher bacon, it does make ts own sense. Some Muslims are utilising the concept to break the taboo around sex.

Smashing the Arab world’s glass ceiling

May 2015 – Arab women are not waiting for others to empower them, they are doing it for themselves. Over 40 are on the list of the most influential young Arabs.

ISIS’s war on women in Mosul

February 2015 – Before ISIS began targeting Iraq’s minorities and cultural heritage, it set to work veiling women in a new dark age, reversing decades of hard-won gains.

Egypt’s other revolution

January 2015 – Revolutionary disappointment in Egypt has concealed the ongoing social revolution whose shifting sands are likely to result in a political earthquake.

Sexual harassment and the medina

November 2014 – In Egypt, sexual harassment is a largely urban phenomenon fuelled by a sense of male powerlessness, insecurity and unrealistic gender ideals.

الرجل العربي الجديد

ابريل 2014 – لوحظ في الأونة الأخيرة تزايد الرجال المناصرة لحقوق الرأة عربياً، مقدمين مثالاُ رائعاً في تحدي المعنى التقليدي للرجولة الشرقية:

The new Arab man: The Middle East’s male awakening

April 2014 – In the first of a Chronikler series on the new Arab man, we meet men who champion women’s rights and challenge traditional ideals of masculinity.

Sexual harassment: Undressing naked prejudice

March 2014 – To those who believe the way a woman dresses invites harassment, hear this: she is not to blame – her harassers are.

Angela’s angels and the political patriarchy

October 2013 – Despite the “Merkel miracle”, the political patriarchy remains strong. However, more women are exploiting and even defying it to lead their countries.

Egypt’s underground sisterhood

September 2013 – Egyptian women are under attack from a failing patriarchy. But what is overlooked is that they are fighting back through grassroots emancipation.

Beauty in the eye of the political storm

July 2013 – Can the skin-deep world of the Miss Israel beauty pageant help combat the ugly face of discrimination and prejudice against Palestinians in Israel?

Nawal El Saadawi: “I am against stability. We need revolution.”

July 2013 – Renowned author and feminist Nawal El Saadawi believes that her fellow Egyptians “must pay the price for freedom”.

Gay marriage but no polygamy?

May 2013 – If we can have gay and interfaith marriages in the West, then why not polygamous ones?

Ugly discrimination in the face of beauty

May 2013 – The curious case of Arab men reportedly deported for being “too handsome” demonstrates that the beautiful can also be the victims of discrimination.

Gay pride (and prejudice) through the ages

February 2013 – Historic examples of homosexuality being tolerated by Judaism, Christianity and Islam can help overcome homophobia and reinvent these faiths.

Egypt’s women of mass destruction

February 2013 – Does a gaff about rural women’s breasts belie the belief among Egypt’s new Islamist leadership that women are the source of all society’s ills?

The naked truth about Egypt’s body politic

January 2013 – One young woman’s daring nude protests are unlikely to emancipate Egyptian women, but will they actually hurt the cause of freedom and equality?

Nearly sisters: the common cause of Israeli and Palestinian women

August 2012 – The fog of war obscures the similar challenges facing women in Israel and Palestine and how the conflict hinders them from finding common cause.

The battle for the soul of the Arab man

May 2012 – The polarised debate over Arab women overlooks the fact that men can be victims of the patriarchy too and their identity is a cultural battlefield.

International Women’s Day: Empowering the average Mo

March 2012 – Arab men who do not fit the traditional ideal of manhood are often regarded as inferior, and this stereotype holds back the emancipation of women.

Sex and the citizen in Egypt and America

January 2012 – Fundamentalists in America and Egypt are obsessed with “virtue “and “vice”. But the rise of Islamists threatens to bind Egyptian women in a moral vice.

التغلب على الخوف، الخطوة الاولى لنساء مصر

قبل الثورة لم يكن سهلا ان نتخيل نساءا تتحدى سلطة الاب او الزوج وتخرج للتظاهر لكننا وجدنا نساءا واجهن الموت والخوف ,وتلك هى الخطوة الاولى لمواجهة اى غبن

From the Chronikles: In the name of equality

January 2012 – As Belgium toys with the idea of allowing mothers to pass on their surnames, is there a way to make naming practices fairer?

Egypt’s middle-class cyberheroes

November 2011 – Social networking and blogging voices the dreams and aspirations of the young and middle-class in Egypt, leaving other groups as marginalised as ever.

From Arab spring to summer of love in Egypt?

July 2011 – The Egyptian revolution awoke hopes of a new era of gender equality and of greater sexual liberty. But how likely is Egypt to have its own summer of love?

 

No revolution for Egyptian women

July 2011 – Despite the political earthquake that has rid Egypt of its patriarch-in-chief, attitudes to gender remain largely the same. Now women must stand up for their rights.

 

Special report: Making harassment history

June 2011 – Egyptian and Arab bloggers have dedicated 20 June to blogging against sexual harrasment. This Chronikler special report examines, through personal testimonies and analyses, the causes of this troubling social phenomenon and examines various creative solutions.

Where ‘no’ means jail time

June 2011 – In Dubai, the Middle East’s self-styled party capital, women who say they have been raped can find themselves behind bars for adultery.

The Arab myth of Western women

November 2010 – Unflattering as some Western stereotypes are of Arab men, Western women also get a bad press in conservative Arab circles.

The Arab man’s burden

November 2010 – Some in the west are more likely to believe in elves in Middle Earth than in Arab men in the Middle East who are secular and do not oppress women.

I say you want a revolution, Egypt

July 2010 – Activists in Egypt should look to the hippy movement of the 1960s for a successful model in bringing about long-term social change.

The freedom of non-expression

July 2010 – Advocates of banning the face veil want to take away the only choice some women have – the choice to conform.

The bold and the brilliant

May 2010 – An Arab-American Miss USA may have put Muslim beauty on the western map, but let’s also recall all those women of courage and talent.

Miss USA 2010 and an Islamic cover-up

May 2010 – Rima Fakih’s Miss USA win is welcomed by many Arab-Americans, but some neocons denounce it as a sinister Islamic plot.

We don’t need no segregation

April 2010 – Sexual harassment in Egypt is leading to calls for gender segregation. But is hiding women really the solution?

Polygamy for all

January 2010 – A Saudi journalist is demanding that women be given the right to four husbands. Should equality mean monogamy or polygamy for all?

Closing the ‘hijab murder’ file

November 2009 – The life sentence imposed on Marwa al-Sherbini’s killer shows that European Islamophobia exists but is not institutionalised.

Beyoncé: saint or sinner?

November 2009 – As the singer prepares to visit Egypt, Christian and Muslim fundamentalists agree: Beyoncé is the root of all evil.

Dad’s demise?

October 2009 – Having kids is no longer the preserve of married couples, or couples full stop, it now seems. That’s all good and well, but does it mean dads will soon be surplus to requirements? No way!

Honour: Made in China

September 2009 – The ‘Chinese hymen’ may make pre-marital sex safer in a patriarchal society but a woman’s honour should not lie between her legs.

Covering heads and veiling poverty

September 2009 – In Egypt, Hijabless women are becoming a shrinking and marginalised minority who have to keep their bare heads down.

غطاء للرأس وغطاء للفقر

انكمش عدد النساء المتبرجات (غير المحجبات) وصاروا أقلية مهمشة في مصر

Hijab and dagger

July 2009 – Egyptian outrage at the brutal murder of Marwa Sherbini, the ‘hijab martyr’ is understandable. But If Egyptians want better justice for Muslims in Europe, then they should demand more justice for non-Muslims at home.

What’s love got to do with it?

June 2009 – For Egyptian marriage offices, the search for profit has replaced the search for a perfect union.

Tainted honour

May 2009 – The taboo surrounding the cruel murder of family members in the name of honour is slowly being broken.

Pale imitations

November 2008 – Why is fairness so coveted in societies with darker skin?

In the name of equality

November 2008 – Society is becoming more equal but our surnames – borrowed from fathers and husbands – lag behind. Is there a fairer system?

Egyptian men behaving badly

September 2008 – Egyptian women have broken their silence on sexual harassment and are demanding the right to go out in public unpestered.