Every year on 8 March, which marks International Women’s Day, Egyptians speak out against violations against women, demanding more rights, justice and equality. Prominent female figures and activists lead the scenes demanding women’s fair representation in the political and social scene, legal and economic rights, hoping and pushing for serious reform.
“Unfortunately, the scene in Egypt is crowded with several issues to the extent that I think demands cannot even be counted,” Cairo University professor and activist Laila Soueif, who is also the mother of imprisoned activists Alaa Abdel Fattah and Sanaa Seif,, said in statements to Daily News Egypt Saturday.
Soueif said that the situation for women nowadays is not promising amid increased frustration and violence in general, and against women in particular. Many were unrightfully killed or imprisoned in different events, Soueif stated. She added that she sees women in terrible health conditions when she visits them in prison.
Soueif also pointed to the economic needs of the underprivileged society, stating two priority cases that should be handled: female breadwinners and indebted women.
“Most basic demands will be the same in 2015,” Soheir El-Shalaqany, Secretary-General of the women’s division in the Free Egyptians Party, told Daily News Egypt.
El-Shalaqany discussed several economic and social problems that have persisted for years, such as the lack of health awareness, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and most importantly the status of the child. “Overpopulation is destroying children, and preventing them from proper health and education,” she said.
“I can’t say there has been progress when it comes to women’s causes. I see the issue standing still, and I think that even the narrative about women rights has degraded, but I also see strong female civil mobilisation in favour of the cause,” El-Shalaqany continued.
“Let’s face it, no change will occur without a revolution in the narrative on women,” Soueif concluded.