Friday December 14, 2018 By: Kismat Mokhtar
Egyptian feminist Doria Shafik launched the Arabic magazine Bint Al-Nil (Daughter of the Nile) in 1945. The magazine was the seed for Bint Al-Nil Party, the first and only women party that was formed in Egypt.
Bint Al-Nil magazine was published in Arabic to reach a wider range of educated middle class Egyptian women, who didn’t speak French, the language of the country’s elites. The magazine focused on women’s issues, nutrition and health information and advice on parenting. Doria wrote its editorials.
Shafik’s vision for the women of Egypt was to be modern, strident, educated, all the while conscious and solicitous of the country’s long history and tradition. This vision led to the launch of the magazine whose aim was to create a movement that ‘awakens [in women] the desire to attain equal rights in a society that traditionally saw women placed in a secondary role to men.’
Both the magazine and party were closed down after Shafik’s dispute with Nasser’s ruling party in 1957, after she went on a second hunger strike at the Indian Embassy in Cairo demanding Nasser’s stepdown. Shafik was put under house arrest and her magazine and party were closed down in.
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