Is There Political Will In Egypt To Promote Gender Equality?

1941 words - 8 pages

Although gender inequality is experienced by women in many parts of the world, it is quite excessive in the Arab world. In this essay I will be using Egypt as a case study. Cultural and traditional norms play a huge role in the oppression of women when it comes to illeteracy, female circumsision, and domestic violence. Everyday less fortunate innocent girls are born into a society where the above is accepted by most of the society and is percieved as a norm. Religion is a very contraditing topic when it comes to gender inequality, and there is honestly more than just Religion to blame. The problem with culture and tradition is that people rarely ever question its morality, since people have been doing it for years, therefore it is viewed as the obvious thing to do, when in fact it's time people start thinking for themselves and not just following this or that tradition because its been engraved in their culture, and instead think about the impact it will have on their family, and on the development of their country as a whole. The cultural, religious, and governmental systems oppress women and leave no space for gender equality to blossom, leaving no will for society as a whole to strive for equality between the sexes.
The first element that shows the lack of will in Egyptian culture is socially constructed norms or gender roles, domestic violence and how it has become so common that the society no longer does anything about it, and lastly, female genital mutilation. "Egyptian males are presumed to be authoritarian in their relations with women, to uphold the segregation of gender roles, to take control of fertility decisions, and to maintain emotional distance from wives and children” (Davis and Davis 1989; Kandiyoti 1994). While “Women are expected to be generally submissive to men and are confined by social norms to roles within the family. Compared with men, they are believed to display more warmth and emotionality” (Rugh 1997). It is devestating to see that from the moment a girl is born, she is already served no neutrual treatment or justice whatsoever. Although women do work and that's possibly a modern indicator, but still traditions always have the upper hand. If the family suffers from financial problems, or in some cases if they just want to save some money, and they had to choose to only send one of their children to school, they would most likely send the boy regardless of how bright the girl may be. They believe she is a girl and therefore should be bound to the house, so that she can soon learn how to become the house wife she is destined to be. While the boy is the one who is entitled to an education since he is the care taker and will be the one to work and provide for his family. It is unfortunate that people at this time and age could still have such sexist mentalities. Women are viewed as baby-makers and carers and if a woman is incapable of having children then she is considered useless, in fact it is a main cause for...

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