Egyptian Feminist Union
History and profile
The Egyptian Feminist Union was founded at a meeting on 6 March 1923 at the home of activist Huda Sha'arawi, who served as its first president until her death in 1947. The Union was affiliated to the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. The EFU published the fortnightly periodical L'Egyptienne from 1925, and from 1937 the journal el-Masreyyah (The Egyptian Woman). The group reformed as a non-profit, non-governmental organization under the same name but with a different goal and team in 2011. The union supported complete independence from the United Kingdom, but like it upper class male leaders of the Wafd Party, promoted European social values and had an essentially secular orientation. The objective of the feminist movement were symbolized by well publicized gesture of social freedom made by Sha'rawi and her associate, Saiza Nabrawi, who removed their veils as they stepped off a train at Cairo's main railway station in 1923. Demands for education reforms by the Egyptian Feminist Union were met in 1925 when the government made primary education compulsory for girls as well as boys, and later in the decade women were admitted to the national university for the first time. The union's campaign for the reform of family law, however, was unsuccessful.
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