display | more...

Qasim Amin (1865-1908) was an Egyptian judge and Cairo University founder who is "the hero of the feminist awakening and its founder" in Egypt according to Huda Shaarawa. Others distinguish his brand of male feminism, born out of his comparison of Muslim oppression of women with the Western movements of women's rights, with female feminism which, it is said, comes from inner reflection and desire for freedom.

His writings include Tahrir al Mar’ah, (The Emancipation of Women, 1899) and Al Mar’ah al Jadida (The New Woman). The following is from Abudiat al Mar'ah (The Slavery of Women, 1900):

It cannot be said that the conditions of the man and the woman are equal. Because of the fact that he does not know his wife before they marry, the man can end the matter at any time by divorcing her as he wishes, or, marry in addition to her a second, a third, or a fourth. However, the woman who is afflicted with a man who does not satisfy her with his companionship has no escape. That a woman may be given in marriage to a man she does not know who forbids her the right to leave him and forces her to this or that and then throws her out as he wishes: this is slavery indeed!