Egypt Independent

Egyptian women lead society



The educated young man said: “We know that you support the issues of women and young people throughout your life, and we have some questions about your position.”

I said: “Bring it on.”

He said: “Do you agree to give women exceptional rights to set a quota in the parliament and local councils?”

I said: “I agree with what the world has called positive discrimination and that women take their natural place after centuries of negative discrimination against them. In a fair race, women cannot start at a later point than men because of a culture that has spread through generations, and we think that they will compete fairly. Positive discrimination is a duty but for a certain period of time.”

Another young lady said: “Doctor, haven’t women historically had a status in Egyptian society?”

I said: “It is not true. In every historical event, Egyptian women have a place, but things are not measured on a moment or exceptions that showed the essence of Egyptian women.

“For example, two come to my mind from the history of the 19th revolution in Egypt as a child. These two memories are probably the history of teaching or the movies. And these memories are the picture of the crescent and the cross together, and the participation of Egyptian women with influence.

“Two images are attached to my mind from June 30: the participation of Egyptian women with their voices louder than men’s voices and the embrace between the crescent and the cross.

“The Egyptian woman is great and extraordinary as a farmer and as a laborer. When she was given education, she excelled and made the best. And when she led the country in our Pharaonic history, she inspired and led.

“When she married the prophets Ibrahim and Muhammad, she gave birth to the grandfather of the Arabs, Ismail, and Ibrahim ibn Muhammad (may God be pleased with him), who died as a young child. She protected Moses from murder, and the Jews would not have existed without the wife of the Pharaoh, who embraced and raised him.

“Egyptian women are genes of civilization and abilities that must be freed from backward constraints imposed upon them.”

Another young man said: “What about the opinion of the religion?”

I said: “He who understands religion knows that it does not distinguish between humans and that all have the same rights and duties.”

Another young lady said: “But we inherit half as much as the man. Isn’t that negative discrimination against her?”

I said: “A woman inherits half as much as the man so she can save it all for herself and not spend anything from it, while the man remains responsible for all the spending, otherwise there is no guardianship for him over her. That is, the rights of the man towards his family depends on spending. {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth} [Surah An-Nisa, verse 34].

“If we look at the matter from the point of view of Western thought, the man would have to inherit everything as long as he remains responsible for all the spending. Who can imagine any businessman in a partnership in which he takes half without any responsibility to spend, while the partner takes double but bears all responsibility. My daughter, if men take their rights and do not take responsibility, then they should have no guardianship or right over women.

“In my understanding, the Quran did not decrease a woman’s status in any aspect of her public or domestic life, but increased the status she had during previous civilizations with the beliefs of nations affected by these civilizations before the advent of Islam, all of which were not satisfying for women and absolutely had no respect for her.

“Women in Roman civilization were subordinate, and had the rights of the minor with no independent rights at all. In the Indian civilization, she was an obstacle to salvation from physical life, and her right to life ended with the death of the husband, burning after his death so as not to live after him or else be cursed. Women in ancient Egyptian civilization had a sense of dignity that allowed them to sit on the throne. But the doctrine of sin after birth was prevalent in the same culture. It was prevalent that woman is the cause of sin and the successor to Satan, and there is no salvation for the soul except by escaping from them.

“The Bedouin life in the pre-Islamic Arab civilization gave women some freedom because they would water, graze and collect food. But the same society made boys dear to parents and made girls spited, to the extent that girls were killed after their birth out of shame.

“In the Dark Ages of Europe, women were second-class creatures, having lost their rights and belonging to men who often treated them badly and even brutally.

“The Quran comes to say {and due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. And you are like those who are good} [Surah al-Baqarah, verse 228].

“The issue is that life is moving, and we have to consider the variables of time to arrive at justice brought up by religion more than a thousand years ago as a principle.

“What is meant by my words is that every right has a responsibility before it, and if a person does not bear his responsibilities, there is no right for him, whether a man or a woman.”

Another young man said: “So, it is a competition between women and men for what is available of livelihood.”

I said: “It is an integration of human beings to create new livelihoods, and a power for the society to use its energies in full and not only half.”

A young lady said: “But what protects women in this time of male tyranny?”

I said: “Science, science, science, and knowledge. Every family must arm its daughters with knowledge and science, as there is no way to protect rights except with these.”