Thursday, March 03, 2016

What Do Egyptian Women Want?

Egypt, in general, and Egyptian women, in particular, are obviously in a better state compared to other countries that have gone through the Arab Spring. Five years since, Egypt is seemingly recovering from the lethal aftermath of two severe political events that toppled a well-cemented autocratic regime in 2011 and a democratically-masked theocratic regime in 2013. 

The Egyptian women, who obviously were a main hammer in destroying dictatorships, are now trying to hold up as a main pillar of support to an economically exhausted state struggling on its way to full democratization. 

In 2015, Egypt scored a new record of empowering women in decision-making positions by having 87 female members of parliament, 73 of them are elected. Add to that the growing number of women leading their small business initiatives and achieving athletic championships worldwide, without being thumbed down by the patriarchal mind-set of the male-dominated society, which has always limited them to stereotypical maternal roles. 

Apparently, the persistent presence of women in the different political events that occurred since the Arab Spring coupled with the sincere interest of the current regime in re-empowering women, is somehow causing a positive change to the perception of women in the Egyptian society. 

Nonetheless, it is not enough for the state to be interested in empowering women, or for women to be willing to accomplish. It is essential for women to be shown how to do what they are supposed to do. 

Egyptian women need to be properly qualified to play the roles they are summoned to play in the future of their country. Out of nearly 40 million female citizens, only a few hundred are properly educated and qualified to lead as a pillar of support to a liberal democratic state. 

Civil Society and state should work together on designing proper educational programs to build the essential skills of women, especially young and minors, to guarantee better future not only for the status of women but for the status of the whole nation.