When Bothaina Kamel began gathering signatures for her campaign to be not only Egypt’s first democratically elected president, but also its first female leader in centuries, just about everyone knew the campaign wouldn’t succeed.
But that wasn’t the point. As Kamel told GlobalPost during the run-up to the presidential elections in May, “We have to dream.”
The women of Egypt, Kamel included, are certainly dreamers. They dreamt of a government free from tyranny when they held hands with their brethren in Tahrir Square in 2011. They dreamt of a future free from harassment, as report after report of rape and assault by both their men and their military continued to surface.
And while some see the deck stacked too high against Egyptian women, ticking off a new list of obstacles every day, from government surveillance to sexual assault to public derision to exile, many women still dream of being equitably represented in their government and will not stop until they have a decisive say in the future of the country.
Read the complete story at Alaska Dispatch, published 1 August 2012.