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Dalia Ziada (F11) Discusses Evolution of Women’s Rights in Egypt


Women in the Egyptian Revolution: An Evolution of Rights

During Egypt's 2011 revolution, activist Dalia Ziada assumed all of the male protesters around her were fighting for her rights, too. But the following years told a different story. NPR's Host Jacki Lyden talks with Ziada about the evolution of women's rights in Egypt from the 2011 uprising to the current upheaval. We also hear from Rebecca Chiao, who discovered a tool for Egyptians to report sexual harassments….

…LYDEN: As Egyptians struggle over the future of their country, the issue of how women will participate has once again come to the fore. Even as women have been hugely visible as protesters, their rights have been less visible and, in some ways, regressed. Violence against women has also been a feature of the recent protests. To gain perspective on what's happened since 2011, we spoke to a young activist who's been at the front line for women and civil rights….

LYDEN: Ziada says her first protest was at age 8 against her family on the issue of genital mutilation. Her activism later gained momentum in 2006 when she was introduced to the legacy of Martin Luther King. By 2011, she was among the millions of Egyptians calling for the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. I asked her to remind us of the involvement of women during that time.

ZIADA: 2011 was just another scene of glory for the Egyptian women. We did not only participate in the protests but even in the making for the protest. I remember in so many days during the revolution, especially in the last days when people started to give up. The women were the ones who were motivating them to remain in the street.

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