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Photo of [non-veiled] women’s rights pioneer to be removed

Angele Reda

15 Jan 2013 11:37 am

Some 100 human rights activists have joined hands with 25 rights organisations and parties in expressing their grave concerns over the recent declarations by Mohammad Sherif who acts as consultant on Philosophy and Civic Education for the Ministry of Education. Mr Sherif said that the photo of the Egyptian feminist and patriot Durriya Shafiq (1908 – 1975)

Some 100 human rights activists have joined hands with 25 rights organisations and parties in expressing their grave concerns over the recent declarations by Mohammad Sherif who acts as consultant on Philosophy and Civic Education for the Ministry of Education. Mr Sherif said that the photo of the Egyptian feminist and patriot Durriya Shafiq (1908 – 1975), who was a staunch nationalist and among the pioneering figures in the movement for the liberation of women in 1930s – 1950s, should be removed from school textbooks because she did not wear the Islamic veil, hijab. 
Ms Shafiq is famous as the founder of Cairo paper Misr Bint al-Nil (Egypt, Daughter of the Nile), and the feminist movement in the same name. She spearheaded the call for full political rights for Egyptian women who finally gained them in 1956. She authored and published several books, among them a large body of poetry, as well as translations of the Qur’an into French and English. 
The recent statement by the rights activists criticised Education Minister Ibrahim Ghoneim who, “instead of doing his best to promptly stop all aspects of discrimination in school curricula, evaded this issue and referred the matter to the technical committee responsible for curriculum development.
“This move,” the statement said, “is a flagrant threat to women’s rights which President Mursi had pledged to preserve, and is also incompatible with the policies announced by the Egyptian government to achieve the perspectives of the 2011 revolution. Egypt’s women intend to fight, in peaceful and legal means, the threat to their rights, and to preserve the identity of Egypt and its feminist heritage.” 
Watani International
14 January 2013


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