Qasim Amin: A call for freedom
Every day my timeline gets flooded with memes in the form of “did Qasim Amin have to fight for women’s education and work that bad?” or “why did Qasim Amin have to call for women’s liberation?” and the list goes on. So I decide to know who is Qasim Amin? and do we really owe him our ability to get educated or employed?
Qasim Amin was born on 1 December 1863 in Alexandria to a Turkish father and an Egyptian mother. Then he moved with his family to Cairo and studied in law school. After that, he proceeded with his studies on a scholarship at Montpellier university in France, where he met Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and worked as an interpreter with El-Sheikh Mohammed Abdu. He specialized in the field of social and human rights work in Egyptian society.
These are the basic profile information that you can find about Qasim Amin. But what really grabbed my attention in his character was his courage to speak about women having their rights in education and work. Additionally, to say that issues such as early marriage and polygamy are unjust for women. He fired his call in a time when men had full control over women's lives, even what to eat or when to stand by the window.
He wrote a book called: "Woman's Liberation", demanding that every woman in society has a right to receive a good education, to work in governmental organizations, and to be finically independent. Amin was fiercely attacked as his message was misinterpreted: that he called for Social disintegration.
He wasn't defeated and he released another book: “The New Woman” calling to set a law that guarantees political and social rights for women as the right to vote.
After many years, Women become lawyers, journalists, doctors, parliament members, and ministers. Please, do not get me wrong; I am not writing this to say that we are where we are because of Qasim Amin. There are many women like Malak Hifni Nasif who fought for women to have their rights and liberate them from patriarchal system control. I want us to see him as a role model of fearlessness and persistence especially when it comes to our rights and what we deserve.
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