Decades have passed now since the first women’s movement, since Qasim Amin first stood for women’s rights, since socialist women’s movements and liberation movements…etc. My point is – since who knows when exactly – women have been fighting for their right to be acknowledged in this male-dominated society.
My article here is not about feminism in general – although this too needs some serious talking – it’s about being in the twenty-first century and women are still facing male dominance in the work front.
To be fair, it is not all on the males; women also are a part of this problem – yes you – and let me tell you why exactly it would be a shame to be in 2015 and still consider this a male problem only.
You see, some women think it is better to never tell anyone about being sexually harassed at work; it would do you no good and only harm your reputation and what does a girl actually own that is more precious than her reputation.
While other women see that ambition kills, that your colleague who is working nightshifts, who is hoping for a higher level in her career is not a good girl and God knows what she did to earn that promotion “if you know what I mean!”
That being said; women face all kinds of discrimination in the work front.
1- She could be highly qualified and suitable for the position but unfortunately another candidate – who looks so much better physically for this sales position – has been chosen.
2- She looks so attractive to be promoted; we do not want another sexual harassment lawsuit!
3- She is pregnant. She will soon take the maternity leave and assign her work to someone else so we can’t hire her.
4- She is a mom. She will call in sick plenty of times, she will probably not focus in her work when she knows one of her kids is having his/her first soccer game today and she is stuck at work.
Etc., etc., etc.
Stereotyping women in very small roles and thinking that they can’t do better is what will keep this topic an open discussion for centuries.
Yes, your boss is a woman…
Yes, your colleague is a very hot girl…
Yes, your new employer is getting married and soon will be pregnant…
Yes, your female manager had to excuse herself as one of her kids had a fever…
Yes, your company is hiring a woman…
Who said that women are not qualified to hold managerial positions?
Who said that a mother with three kids is not the most suitable for this job?
Who said that because she doesn’t look hot ‘to your personal biased standards’, she won’t achieve the target?
Who said that because she looks hot, she will use her looks to seduce men in the office?
Women all over the world have fought for you, me and our daughters. It is up to the woman – not the man’s choice – to enjoy these rights or to put them aside.
Parents should raise their daughters to always improve themselves in the work front, always seek higher positions.
Husbands should encourage their wives to go to work every day and do all they can to show the world they earn the chair they are sitting on.
Brothers should support their sisters whenever they are facing troubles at work and give them advice about how to deal with their mean bosses.
Employers should appreciate their female employees and give them their earned credit if they deserved it and worked hard for it.
You see, women only wanted to be treated equally with men because they deserve to and not because they are forcing anyone to. If you see a woman who is using her looks to get ahead, well fire her, take all the necessary measures if you have to.
What this article is about and what our ancestors fought for is for women to be given an equal chance to show the world what they can do.
Design Art: Daad Sherif
EDITORS: Sarah Shalaby & Nada Adel Sobhi
My first Work Abuse Experience was from another Woman! ~ Work Diaries
Written By: Dr. Hanan Abd El Moniem
Translated By: Mahmoud Mansi
In my early career, I was lucky to accidentally meet the CEO of the company I worked for in the elevator. I was excited because she was the first female to become a CEO in the Oil and Gas sector in Egypt. She wasn’t smiling as I was, and later on it was announced in the company that no one is allowed to use the elevator with the CEO! By the end of the week I was surprised to find myself transferred into another department and given responsibilities that were lower than my qualifications.
I spent 3 days suffering, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I understood from now on, that the management style was based on fear and authority, and in suppressing the ambitious people of the company so they can “know their limits”!
It is ironic that my first work abuse experience was from another woman, who was assigned as CEO in the first place to promote gender equality!
I refused the rules of the corporate where the strong people are the unfair or unethical, I had to establish my own powers, which were education and patience. That’s when I decided to invest more of my time in self-development, and focused on my education.
On the fourth day, I started my education journey in the American University in Cairo, and I chose to specialize in Quality. For me quality was not only about work, but it was about life, relationships, communication, and eventually in human resources, work-life balance and employee wellness.
I have learnt to always set to myself KPIs, my main KPIs were my self-development and empowerment, after I fulfilled that I moved to another KPI, which was training and developing 5000 employees working in the Oil and Gas sector across Egypt, and now I am fulfilling my third KPI, which is empowering others to ethically fight for their rights, to become more empathetic as well as intellectual, and mainly helping people to become more humane.
Discussed in 1st Arab Women Summit in North America: https://arabwomensummit.com/team/dr-hanan-abdelmoniem/
Book Review: “When Women Unite”, by Abir Yassin
When Women Unite, a one act play, written by Mahmoud Mansi. I would totally say about this play that it is not written to everyone, in a way it is shocking, controversial, questionable, and debatable. And on the other hand I would recommend it to each and every one. It is an eye-opener, can’t put it down kind of books. One can’t believe it is written by a man. The writer can totally get into women’s mind and their inner struggles regardless of their background and their beliefs.
What makes the play standout is mainly the dialogue. While reading, you find your own words and thoughts been told through the characters, to the extent that some lines you act it out while reading.
Concerning the ideas discussed, in a way one can consider it shocking, and on the other way it is so real and deliberated on so many levels through many channels out there. The play has no red lines, it goes through politics and religion and all those areas that one can consider tabooed.
The title, “When Women Unite”, gives the right idea about the main theme of the play which is “women rights” shown through three different ladies, with various life style, minds and orientations. The setting of the play, a demonstration, gives the thoughts a lot of space to be exposed as a bomb. Gives the characters the opportunity to speak out their inner and hidden ideas, which all women on planet Earth has in their black box. The playwright opened that black box with no mercy.
The characters’ development is a little bit fast due to the timeline of the play where by the end they reach their liberty. They reached this freedom when they opened up to each other and expose their wounds to the air.
As a reader, I may tell that it is a great time consuming play to be read. I didn’t waste a minute reading it, a very successful experiment by the writer.
Link to Book on Amazon.com:
Book Review: When Women Unite, Review By Nesma Yassien
About the Book
When Women Unite: A Play about Challenges facing the Modern Movement of Feminism and Gender Dialogue, written by Mahmoud Mansi.
The play is written about the movement of feminism, where women from different backgrounds were present in the same women’s rights protest. When they started talking about politics, relationships, religion, and feminism, they discovered that they were not on the same page. That’s mainly how the play starts and events progress.
Book Reviewer's Note
It took me roughly two hours to read the whole play. I will not lie when I say that I was a bit concerned to read a book about women written from a male (with an Eastern background) point of view. But I was surprised. I recommend including the play in universities with programs relevant to Women Studies Subject.
I liked the choice of characters especially the Harem Slave and the Conservative housewife. Their character representation is very interesting and fresh. These characters are given a platform to voice their opinions which I believe are very anti-stereotypes. Those two specific characters are either not well-represented in literature or are represented as passive, pathetic, and voiceless women. However, you managed to give them a new light by highlighting their multiple humane, feminine, and rebellious sides. For instance, people would never think that a conservative housewife and a Harem Slave would have such big ambitions that would eventually change society (which I believe is represented by the Enshrouded Man).
The first chapter does mirror our society’s mindset through the healthy argument/debate between the characters. The characters represent a variety of cultures, beliefs and background and that has made the play universal.
The play is also timeless and this is evident in chapter two. Discrimination against women has existed ages ago. According to the author’s choice of the characters of Cleopatra and Harem Slave, the issue goes beyond the boundaries of time and space.
Moreover, the characterization of Cleopatra is very clever. Cleopatra has been always portrayed in films and books in a negative light, but the author provided a whole new light to her personality by presenting her as Mother nature- a woman who has the venom and the cure.
Cleopatra discusses the concept of Evilness in a new light. Her words reminded me of Fyodor Dostoyvesky’s idea of pain in Notes From The Underground; how important pain is to the body. According to the Protagonist, without the feeling of pain, no one would realize that the body is dying. The same applies to Evilness in the play. Evil is important to set things right too. Also pain is essential to save the whole body, and so is Evil; it demands us to cure society as a whole without discrimination. The cure is knowledge, confession and acceptance.
The third chapter is fascinating. The characters reveal their past and the readers discover that they are more or less the same. All characters share things in common and they all experience a moment of epiphany after they confess and accept each others’ past.
We are all humans who sin and make wrong choices, but in order to become strong and to unite one should confront himself and accept and embrace her/his sins and wrong choices in life (same as when they confess and embrace each other). This is therapeutic. This is when they are truly free and equal. They all (including the Enshrouded Man) choose to make the right choice by following their passion regardless of how society would see them. This is When Women Unite.
Link to Book on Amazon.com:
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