Even though there are millions of Egyptian women who excel in many sectors and contribute to the economy, we still struggle with chauvinism and misogyny in our society.
It would highly be appreciated if Egyptian men understood some of the struggles women face on a daily basis.
Here are just 10 of them:
1. Continuously hearing you will never be good enough because of your gender
Egyptian women can hardly keep count of how many times they were told that sooner or later they'll be getting married instead of joining the workforce.
Worse of all is when we hear such statements from our own co-workers, blaming working women for unemployment rates among men.
2. Slut shaming
Rape culture and encouraging the blaming of victims instead of offenders is making life hard for every single woman in Egypt.
Sadly enough, some Egyptian women promote rape culture too.
3. Victim blaming
Do people blame victims of robbery or homicide? No.
But it's beyond common to lecture and blame women for being sexually harassed or raped.
4. Worrying for your safety every single time you take public transportation
While one must be vigilant when boarding public transportation in general, women particularly worry about being sexually harassed.
5. Virginity tests determining your worth as a person
Pelvic exams based on anatomical myths are done in many parts of the world to determine suitability for marriage.
Virginity tests are common in Egypt, especially in suburban and rural areas.
Young women are mistrusted, intimidated, shamed, and forced to spread their legs in front of total strangers to please a hymen-obsessed society.
Therein lies the worst of double standards, where a man can sleep with as many women as he likes but women who do the same are deemed "slutty."
6. Having to fake orgasms because you are a victim of Female Genital Mutilation
About 70 to 80 percent of Egyptian women cannot reach orgasm due to FGM.
Egypt originally partially outlawed female circumcision in 1959, banning certain types of genital cutting while permitting others. Another decree in 1997 formally barred the practice but allowed hospitals to approve genital cutting operations for "medical reasons". In 2007, after a 12-year-old Egyptian girl died during an FGM operation, the ministry of health announced a total ban on female circumcision.
Despite the ban, the deeply entrenched cultural tradition is still carried out to this day.
7. Taking care of house chores is only for girls
After every single family gathering for breakfast, lunch, or dinner girls are supposed to wash all the dishes while their male siblings are busy watching TV.
Because El ragel gheir el sett (men and women are not the same). Heh.
8. You're constantly reminded you have an expiry date
Staying single past a certain age is not widely accepted. While single men are relatively left alone, the word 3anis (spinster) haunts millions of Egyptian women.
The fear of the society-imposed stigma pressures many women to compromise by marrying total strangers to escape that label.
9. Society imposed curfews
The problem starts at home: boys are given the freedom to go out with their friends and come back home late, while girls aren't.
10. Getting forced into marriage at a very young age
In Egypt, particularly in underdeveloped and rural areas, boys are perceived as breadwinners in the family and accordingly given an education.
On the other hand, girls are seen as a financial burden and are thus sold (yes, sold) to the highest bidder, putting them at risk of exploitation and domestic violence.
According to UNICEF, girls who marry before they turn 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence.
On Oct. 9, the Ministry of Health reported that 500,000 children are born every year to adolescent mothers.