Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution

10 Leil Zahra Mortada Author PhotographEgypt Today
21 September 2013
A new project to shed light on women’s role during January 25
By Nadine El Sayed
After January 25, people thought feminism will finally get its break in Egypt, only to be faced with an unrepresentative female minority in the parliament, a crackdown on women’s march last year and an overall undermining of women’s role in the political scene.But Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution documentary series hopes to contribute in writing history through telling and highlighting women’s stories duringJanuary 25, as told by them.

“We are a group who decided to shed light on the participation of women in the Egyptian revolution and document their experiences,” says executive producer Nazly Hussein. ”It is meant to empower women everywhere and be available as a tool for researchers and all those interested in the matter.” Hussein adds that they aim to highlight women’s stories to write history accurately.

The group believes the participation of women in January 25 was only natural and was no surprise to anyone, but it is history that often tends to ignore women’s role in political events. “I personally refuse to speak about ‘the role of women’ in the revolution as if it is some extraordinary phenomenon,” says Hussein. “History, however, tends to highlight the particpation of men and attributes most accomplishments to them.” She adds that it is beyond her why people speak about women’s role whereas nobody speaks of men’s role, both are givens and nothing extraordinary.

The documentary is a series of short, 12 minutes profiles on each woman, featuring women from various backgrounds and ages. The women talk about their personal lives and work before January 25 and their participation in the events and where she stands today.

It sheds light on how average Egyptian housewives found themselves politically engaged and active, how young women from upper classes broke stereotypes and spent days and nights camping in Tahrir and how mothers and daughters marched side by side. The stories are personal, diversified and present a well-balanced reflection of women’s participation in January 25, breaking societal stereotypes of protective Egyptian mothers, passive female participation and sexist beliefs.