In the month of January of the year 2011, a revolution broke loose in Egypt. It was the sort of morally vibrant revolution that inspired upheaval in countries around the Eastern Hemisphere. Men and women marched through the streets of every major city, rioting in Cairo and rallying in Alexandria. And their actions were in no way simply violence -driven, as is the common view of revolution in this modern world. The citizens of the country rallied to lower the crime that had arisen since revolution began and communal efforts were made to reduce opposition to non-violent demonstrations. But human rights had been spat on from on high for far too long, and the people were not entirely forgiving. The men and women of Egypt saw that the corrupt government was dismantled, and in its place, Mohamed Morsi was elected as the fifth president of Egypt.
Now, many Egyptians, particularly the women who spearheaded the revolution as surely as any of the men, affirm that the conflict begins anew.
Since his rise to power, Morsi has wielded tyrannical powers that have earned him the nickname; “The Pharoah” amongst opposing circles. He has passed laws allowing himself immunity from legal repercussions and to do whatever it takes to ensure the “survival of the revolution”.
That is to say, he has the power to squash all opposition with force, at a whim, without retribution, just so long as he can paint it a certain color. And he has been wielding that power, using police to attack protesters and shielding the passing of a contentious new constitution.
This constitution sweeps away national recognition of women’s rights in Egypt, which will likely be used to legalize lowering the legal age of marriage from 18 to 13, or even as low as nine years old. This is not as baseless as it might seem to the culturally unacquainted. Child marriage is common despite criminalization, and current laws make children born of these illegal marriages ineligible for certificates of birth, which in turn makes it impossible for these children to get a public education and forces people into poverty. Advocates of the law believe it is the easiest way to remove this barrier to the innocents, circumventing rather than simply nullifying the offending law. However, despite potential benefits, there are many against these controversial laws, worried of a surge in child marriages and underage births that may occur, should it be legal. The same constitution goes on to eliminate a political voice for women, and Morsi has threatened to go so far as to decriminalize Egypt’s distasteful practice of female genital mutilation. This other questionable political action coming from Morsi has been largely supported by a group called the Muslim Brotherhood, which has used Morsi’s power to push Islamist jurisdiction forward.