Women rights were the most precious prize to fight for. In any place or time, women had to find their way through life in a manhood communities. Islam was the most religion defended the rights of women, and despite the fact that the majority of Arab peoples are Muslims, but the rights of women in those societies do nothing with what Islam has said. Egyptian woman, which we are talking about today have faced many obstacles in order to reach the place they deserve.
The early nineteenth century has been one of the most important periods in which loud voices urging that women take place in the vicinity of men, particularly in the political sphere. As we talk about this issue, we highlight the period between 1917 and 1919, and the impact of events on the Egyptian women in this time and talking on a very unique model, Amina in Naguib Mahfouz’s novel “palace walk”. 1. Women in Islam: Women’s status prior to Islam was totally hard to live with.
They were “a second class citizen” as in Ahmed’s response to Egyptian family life in 1919 . In Arabia women didn’t have any right, they couldn’t inherit their relatives, couldn’t have their own money and they were not able to agree or disagree on marriages. When a man in those societies have a new born daughter, he head to desert and burry her as mentioned in Ahmed’s response to Egyptian family life in 1919 . Many wrong attitudes were held against women ,but Islam came and every thing was changed.
Quran, the main guide of all Muslims does not differentiate between a man and a woman, they are equals and brought from the same single soul. Women were treated by honor and love as daughter, wife and a mother. They were able to control their own money and properties and they had the right to refuse to marry any man they don’t like. Islam goes on to teach a father that he must raise his daughters in the same way as his son and to treat wives kindly. As a mother, Islam made the paradise at the feet of the mother as prophet Muhammad said.
This great religion made the education of a female essential because of her responsibility in educating children and learning them all what they need to move on in there lives as in Ahmed’s response to Egyptian family life in 1919. Actually, Islam had made it all for women; they had not to do anything to fight for their lives or rights. Islam gave them all what they dreamt of.
2. Egyptian women: The Renaissance of Egyptian women has long march that spanned nearly a century and a half century it was subjected to societal issues raised by the necessities of progress and began when Muhammad Ali Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt moved towards the establishment of the modern state, which has been linked to the need to modernize society to serve this state, and of course the need to educate women and achieving their rights. Rif ah al-Tahtawi in 1872 also called for the education of women as away to improve the society. Qasim Amin on 1899, Followed his foot steps and was fighting for women freedom on the base of the rights gave to them by Islam itself (Makar 23) .
By the beginning of the twentieth century, many Egyptian feminist idols were appeared, such as, the writer, Malak Hifni Nasif (Makar 23), the first Egyptian woman activist, Huda Sha’rawi who encouraged women to do away with the veil, Safiya Zaghlul and Ceza Nabarawi (Makar 23). As a result ,many of them were involved directly in the nationalist movement and fighting against British occupation with protestors ,and the climax was the involvement of them in the 1919 revolution and some of them were killed(Makar 23).
Dr Yunan Labib rizk wrote in Al-Ahram: “On 16 March1919, ademonstration by more than 500 women marked the modern Egyptian women’s first entry into public life”. Dr Yunan also stated that After this big move, many famous organization was found in the course of 1919 revolution to help women taking their role in public life like, the society for the new women, the society of young women for young Egypt and the union for the advancement of Egyptian women in Tanta.