WATCH: Barricade To Ballot Box: Female Candidates In Egypt's First Democratic Elections
During the past year of revolution and change in Egypt, long-time V-Day activist and photojournalist Tara Todras-Whitehill has dedicated her time to document and highlight the role of women in both the uprising and the political landscape that followed Mukarak’s resignation. V-Day was proud to support Tara in this project, and we are pleased to share with you this important look at four women who are running in the first parliamentary elections:
My name is Tara Todras-Whitehill. I am a photojournalist based in Cairo, Egypt.
I returned to Cairo where I lived from 2005-2007 to photograph Egypt's revolution from its first fitful marches to Mubarak’s resignation on February 11, 2011. As I watched history unfold indowntown Cairo, I was struck by the number of women participating in the protests. They commanded the respect of male protesters, who in other circumstances would have dismissed, harassed or even assaulted them.
I wondered what these women who had stood side-by-side with men at the revolution's barricades would do next. I wondered howthey would turn
what they'd done into into real political power in Egypt's new democracy. And so I decided to document female candidates running in Egypt's first truly free parliamentary elections.
Of the four women profiled, none are likely to win their races. Magy and May have already lost to established, party-backed male candidates. Sanaa and Mona face long odds. Mubarak-era quotas guaranteed women at least 64 seats. But when parliamentary elections conclude in mid-January, most observers expect shockingly few women to have been elected. While this is not an ideal outcome, this project, supported by V-Day, will have documented the impressive example set by these four female candidates for all Egyptian women, chronicling theirstruggle for gender equality and political recognition, and highlighting the pressing need for more female representation in Egyptian political life.