Egyptian woman presidential candidate

Bothaina Kamel protesting against corruptionFrom Jezebel in the USA:

This Woman Is Running For President Of Egypt

Irin Carmon — They call her “the woman who is like a hundred men.” She calls herself “a girl of the revolution.” And now newscaster turned activist Bothaina Kamel is running for president, the first woman to do so in the country’s history.

The New York Times profiles Kamel, who participated in pro-democracy rallies even before the wave that brought down Hosni Mubarak and would act as a human shield on behalf of young demonstrators.

Kamel used to host a call-in show that sounds kind of like Loveline, called “Nighttime Confessions,: which The Times says would tackle topics like “sexual abuse, and premarital and extramarital sex. The program was abruptly taken off the airwaves in 1998, accused by a state committee on religion of damaging the reputation of Egypt and its youth.” Later, Kamel became a news anchor who realized that the dissonance between the government line she was given to read and the oppressive reality on the streets. Eventually, in 2006, she took a leave of absence rather than lie on-air.

Now she’s running on the vague but impressive-sounding motto, “My agenda is Egypt.” She’s working to try to ease sectarian tensions that have emerged since the revolution’s success.

There’s not much in the profile about the status of women in Egypt — the absence of any woman on the committee to form the constitution, for example, or the abusive “virginity tests” protesters were subjected to. There’s some promise in this also-vague sentence: “I am concerned with a social revolution in Egypt more than a political revolution. If you don’t have a social revolution in Egypt, all these gains will be lost.”

See also here.

Ms Kamel’s Twitter account is here.

Bothaina Kamel: Egypt’s first female presidential candidate: here. And here.

Beyonce about Egypt: here.

First Saudi woman ever to get a traffic ticket: here.

2 thoughts on “Egyptian woman presidential candidate

  1. Nation’s women in driving protest

    SAUDI ARABIA: Women began a disobedience campaign today aimed at winning the right to drive cars in the Western-allied kingdom.

    Activists took to the wheel across the country in a show of defiance against its notoriously repressive laws.

    Women cannot vote and must obtain permission from a man to travel or have a job.

    “Today on the roads is just the opening in a long campaign — we will not go back,” vowed campaigner Wajeha al-Huwaidar.


  2. The third great film was the drama 678 Cairo, about sexual harassment in Egypt. It is one of the best feminist films I have seen.

    The subject is veiled in collective silence in Egypt.

    We follow three stories. One is of a very wealthy, educated woman, Seba, who, although accompanied by her doctor husband, was raped at a football match.

    Another woman, from the middle-class, wants to bring the first sexual harassment lawsuit in Cairo.

    The third woman is devout, working class Fayza, who faces sexual harassment daily by men on overcrowded public transport.

    The film opens with Seba giving classes on self-defence for women in public. At the end of the class, she asks the six women present to write down the number of incidents of sexual harassment they have suffered.

    To her continual frustration, they all deny anything has ever happened to them. Finally, Fayza, covered in a scarf and long dress and coat, confesses.

    She is encouraged to use her sharp pin, holding her scarf, to stab the offending men in their genitals on the bus.

    The drama continues with a fascinating confrontation between the the wealthier women and the working-class Fayza.

    It’s brilliantly done and all by a team of filmmakers under the age of 30.

    Filmgoers were lucky to have a question and answer session with one of the actors, Bushra Rozza, who played Fayza.

    She said the film started off as a short story about Fayza and her sexually frustrated working class husband. However, sexual harassment had long been a subject Rozza had wanted to make a film about.

    So she convinced writer director Mohamed Diab to extend the film to the three cases of women of different classes, to emphasise that no woman is safe in Egypt. The film had a huge impact in Egypt when it was released, just before the mass uprising that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak.


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