Aliaa Dawood on the current backlash against women’s rights and personal status law reform

Meant to post this when it came out, but here is Aliaa Dawood’s op-ed in Al Masry Al Youm on November 8, 2011 about how backlash against the recent personal status law reform was inevitable. Unfortunately, changes to women’s personal status (like gaining the right to divorce without proving fault known as khola3 and extending the age of child custody to 15) are being identified with former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, who was the head of the previous National Council for Women and Children.

It seems that activists and lawyers pushing for these changes behind the scenes probably needed Mubarak’s support to pass the legislation, because it was an actual viable channel for reform. Despite this, I’m sure many of those same activists had serious issues with the Egyptian government and Mrs. Mubarak’s stamp on all legislation related to women and children.

Aliaa Dawood is a professor of mass communications at AUC and she presented on feminism in Egypt at the AUC Social Justice Conference in May 2011.

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