Courageous. Indomitable. Erudite. Intelligent. Humane. These are only a few of the adjectives we could apply to Nawal El Saadawi. It’s one thing to be a feminist on a western university campus. Try your faith in somewhere like Egypt if you want to see what its application is really like. Because she did.
Born in a family of nine children, in a culture whose prevailing ethos was summed up by her own grandmother as “one boy is worth fifteen girls” she managed to qualify as a doctor before setting out on a lifetime of writing, political activism and public health. On the way she managed to upset just about every ruler of Egypt. Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak, Morzi- secular or Islaamist, she rubbed them up the wrong way with equal gusto. Read her obituary by Sarah A Smith in the Guardian * below, but do see that as a place to begin, not end, this remarkable life.
Those who have lived comfortable lives, where beliefs can more more like hobbies or career vehicles, or who imagine their lives ruined by a failure to acquire the very latest Armani suit, should take heart. Because there are people who surpass us in intelligence,bravery and imagination, and it will be them who save all our lives.
#feminism #womensrights #egypt