The Undiscussed Backsliding of Women’s Rights in Egypt and Arab World

When I lived in Cairo last year, many Egyptians told me that the Arab Spring hadn’t improved anything. Things were worse than they were before the 2011 revolution. Food prices shot up. Young people still didn’t have jobs and didn’t care to vote. The military government crushed dissent, arresting journalists and activists alike. A Thomson Reuters poll named Cairo as the world’s most dangerous city for women in 2017, testifying to the double whammy of oppression Egyptian women endure.

Misogyny – the child of patriarchy and religious fundamentalism – grows stronger as Egypt enters one of the most repressive climates in recent history. In Egypt, the global outcry against sexual abuse is not even close to making a dent on the culture where women are second-tier citizens.

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Why character matters as much as craft

I once had lunch with a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was more or less my dad’s age. I had great respect for his deep commitment to impartial reporting and found his immense filing cabinet of memory impressive. So it was very unfortunate when he said suddenly that he wanted to . . . me, using a verb that begins with “f.”  He then added that what his wife didn’t know couldn’t hurt her.

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