In Upper Egypt, the post of mayor has so far been exclusively reserved for males. But earlier this month Eva Habeel Kyrillos broke that record by becoming the first woman mayor in Egypt. Ms Kyrillos, a lawyer in her late forties, is now mayor of the village of Kombouha in Assiut, Upper Egypt. She was one of five contenders for the post.
Ms Kyrillos is the daughter of one of the oldest families in the village. She earned a law degree from Ain-Shams University in Cairo in 1980, after which she ran her own law business in Cairo. In 1990 she went back to her home village and, in 1996, joined the National Democratic Party and began an active career in politics.
Ms Kyrillos told Watani that she had ambitious plans for her village which she described as almost crime-free were murder and vendetta are concerned. Kombouha, however, needs better administration, organisation, and law enforcement, especially regarding land and trade issues, as well as women development.
Kombouha has a population of 10,000 residents, 95 per cent of whom are Christian. It is a thriving trade centre, and enjoys high levels of education especially among girls.