Four Young Egyptians Speak on Women and Egpyt’s Future
Yara Yousry, Merna Tawfik, Hilda Momen Herky, and Injy Mazhar el-Sheikh are four young Egyptian women in their early twenties who recently traveled to London to take a journalism class sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. During their trip, they sat down with Melanie McDonagh from the London Evening Standard for a series of brief interviews, offering their perspectives about the incredible violence that recently erupted in their country, as well as their hopes for Egypt’s future.
While the young women share some elements of their middle-class background and journalistic interests, they offer a glimpse into the under-represented voices of Egypt’s young women during this period of tumult. While the four young women interviewed differ in some respects on their political views, a common thread among them is a profound disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood’s record on women’s rights. Three of the four women interviewed expressed that under Morsi’s presidency, they personally experienced gender-based harassment that they had not previously encountered. All three relayed hope that the international media would pay closer attention to the voices of Egyptians who are being ignored, particularly women, in the road ahead to rebuild a more peaceful and prosperous Egypt.
Yara feared that the Brotherhood’s return to power would make things “worse for women.” “They want to make Egypt like Saudi Arabia,” she warned, saying, “Well, in Egypt women are different. We have Christian and Jewish women too … what are you going to do with them? We Egyptians have a very close bond between us.”