In Memoriam: Egyptian Women That Changed Our Lives

In celebration of International Women's Day, we honor the memory of six important, impactful Egyptian women.

We would like to celebrate International Women’s Day by looking back on six women who had a great impact on our lives. Because of their efforts, we were given the opportunity to work in any field we want, regardless of gender, and the discrimination that had taken over the country back then. They fought for us so we could have better lives.

1. Huda Shaarawy

To begin with, we should honor the first Egyptian feminist, Huda Shaarawy. She believed that keeping women at home was backward thinking, so she stepped up! Her first step was giving lectures about topics that interested them, and she established a charity organization to help poor women. She led a movement that requires a round of applause! She opened the first school in Egypt that cares about women’s education rather than caring about teaching them how to be good wives. If it wasn’t for her, none of us could have gotten a better education now. Huda Shaarawy gave us an important lesson, it requires only one person to make a change!

2. Lotfia ElNadi

Have you ever wondered who was the first Egyptian woman to fly a plane? Lotfia ElNadi was the first Egyptian woman to break the norms that only men can fly planes. She attended flight lessons with 33 men, and she lied about it until she made it! She believed that women can fly, so she became the first African and Arab woman to a earn a pilot’s license. Lotfia ElNadi taught us an important lesson as well, to be able to fly, you need to break the chains that hold you.

3. Umm Kulthum

Moving on to our favorite singer and the one who left a colossal legacy, Umm Kulthum! She wasn’t only a singer; she made songs that lasted forever and had a great impact on people! Back then, her songs helped our army too, by making songs about them and their heroic efforts that led to getting Israel out of Egyptian lands.

4. Safeya Zaghloul

Mother of Egyptians, Safeya Zaghloul, was one of the first leaders of the Wafd Party and helped women to be a big part of the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, one of the historical revolutions that got Britain out of Egypt. She had a great role as well in the independence of Egyptian women. When her husband, Saad Zaghlool, got banished, she stood up and took his place to help Egyptians and stood by everyone who took a bullet for their freedom. That’s why she was called Mother of Egyptians.

5. Samira Mousa 

Samira Mousa was one of the best scientists that made a great difference in history. She proved that we could make a difference by dedication. Samira Mousa discovered one of the most important things on Earth through her nuclear research. She believed that cancer patients could have nuclear treatments as cheap as aspirin, so she came up with an equation that would break the atoms of cheap metals like copper. That way, we could use nuclear treatments to treat patients instead of using them in bombs.

6. Doria Shafik

Doria Shafik is a poet, feminist , publisher, and a political activist! She made many achievements and stood up for women. In the 40s, she stepped up and challenged every social, cultural, and legal barrier to stop the gender discrimination in order for women to have the same rights as men. Then, she established an organization in 1948, the Daughters of the Nile Union. One of the most important steps that she took was campaigning for women’s rights to vote! Women are now given that right thanks to her. We would like to thank her for stepping up for all women and fighting for us.
Lastly, all these women made a difference and a great impact on Egypt that changed it to a better place. A place where women have the rights to learn, vote, and even fly planes. We would like to thank these women and every woman out there trying to make a difference and trying to change the world. As we know, it only takes one person to make a difference!