Egyptian Women Were More Empowered in the 1900s

Egyptian Women Were More Empowered in the 1900s

Reminiscing about the past has become a common occurrence amongst Egyptians. Recently a Facebook post went viral, stating that Egypt is the only country that can move forward in our modern days, by traveling back in history. Egypt in the 1900s used to have streets, buildings and generic architecture that competed with those of London. We used to have an extent of social order  – regardless of the poverty and social problems that existed – and we used to have overall respect for one another, regardless of gender and religious affiliations.

“Although it was not a private establishment, it was a premier institution in Cairo that paid witness to mutual respect, high intellect and high education amongst students.”

One of the many aspects constantly found taking a stroll down memory lane amongst Egyptians, is the freedom, equality and elegance of women in the 1900s. Today sexual harassment, and social oppression towards women has become a common and normal trait, sending our society and country on a backward progression.

Cairo University has always been a public institution since 1908, the year it was founded. Although it was not a private establishment, it was a premier institution in Cairo that paid witness to mutual respect, high intellect and high education amongst students. Today however, several cases related to female harassment, robbery and judgement have been surfacing in relation to the University. In light of all this, we decided to bring forth some photographs of women from Cairo University and from the everyday life in Egypt in the 1900s.

“If women were veiled in the 1900s, they would’ve abided to the chicness and classiness of the society at the time like any other woman.”

The images coincidently do not show any veiled women. A veiled woman and an unveiled woman can be equally as classy, chic and free; however, it just happens to be that not many women were veiled in the 1900s which is why none of the images display veiled women. We do however believe that if women were veiled in the 1900s, they would’ve abided to the chicness, classiness and freedom of the society at the time like any other woman, showing women today how the veil should be worn and applied. With that being said, in hopes of reminding you what Cairo University and Egypt in general was to women and in hopes of one day seeing them travel back to their Golden days, here are some images of Cairo University female students and women in Egypt from the 1900s:

 

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Photo Source: The book “الاميرة فاطمة إسماعيل و قصة إنشاء جامعة ١٩٠٨” from the American                                       University in Cairo Library

A female student confidently gives a lecture freely, amongst a pack of male students.

 

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Photo Source: https://twitter.com/wafaabeshay/status/499576604063186945

A group of female students walk freely in above-the-knee dresses.

 

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Photo Source: http://lite.almasryalyoum.com/extra/29358/

A group of female students on a break.

 

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Photo Source: http://shabab.ahram.org.eg/News/35449.aspx

Nabila, the first female student to ride a Vespa to university in 1955.

 

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Photo Source: http://forums.egyptladies.org/showthread.php?p=113474

A large group of female and male students and professors gather tightly next to each for a picture.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/21539406-المقال-من-المصدر-دوت-مصر-صور-هوانم-مصر

Princess Fawzia and Fayza walking in a garden.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.vetogate.com/971576

A newspaper page dedicated to Cairo’s Swimsuit Beauty Queen contest, and its winner.

 

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Photo Source: http://mulpix.com/instagram/كان_الطب_كلية_جامعة.html

A small protest in Cairo dominated by females.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/21539406-المقال-من-المصدر-دوت-مصر-صور-هوانم-مصر

A female factory worker looking presentable and casually chic.

 

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Photo Source:

https://www.facebook.com/Ahl.Misr.Zamaaan/photos/a.306114752773748.84008.306071422778081/1185575138161034/?type=3&theater

Two classically modest women walking down a public street in Masr El Gedida in year 1910.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/21539406-المقال-من-المصدر-دوت-مصر-صور-هوانم-مصر

Assiut University female students, avoiding traffic issues by using their bikes.

 

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Photo Source: www.akhbarak.net/culture/2015/05/11/بالصور-تطور-الحجاب-في-العالم-العربي-خل/

Egyptian women chilling comfortably on a beach in classy swimsuits and beach wear.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/21539406-المقال-من-المصدر-دوت-مصر-صور-هوانم-مصر

Egyptian girls rollerblading together.

 

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Photo Source: http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/21539406-المقال-من-المصدر-دوت-مصر-صور-هوانم-مصر

Latifa El Nady, the first Egyptian female to get an international flying license!

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment
  1. Really amazing and fascinating! Thank you for this quite surprising perspective on Cairo University female students from the early 1900 to the 50s.

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