International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political. International Women’s Day puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality. Today, we celebrate Egypt’s leading ladies.
1- Azza Fahmy
“SO I TIED MY HAIR BACK, PUT ON MY OVERALLS AND SPENT MY DAYS IN A WORKSHOP FULL OF MEN LEARNING THE TRICKS OF THE JEWELLERY MAKING TRADE.”
Fahmy began her journey with jewellery in a Khan El Khalili workshop. Forty years later, her work has been featured globally in international Fashion Shows, and her jewellery is recognised everywhere.
2- Mona El Tahawy
“THE WOMAN EXPLAINING EGYPT TO THE WEST”
Mona El Tahawy is a distinguished Egyptian-American freelance journalist whose work is mainly about explaining Egypt to the west, and how to change people’s perspective towards Egypt. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald Tribune, U.S. News, and World Report. She was ranked the 30th most powerful Arab Woman in 2012 by Arabian Business.
3- Sahar Nasr
Her Excellency Dr Sahar Nasr was sworn in as the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation on February 16, 2017, following her appointment as Minister of International Cooperation on September 19, 2015. Nasr has focused on strengthening Egypt’s ties with its existing international partners, and exploring new opportunities for cooperation through the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships.
4- Nelly Karim
Nelly is defined by the type of success that she has had to fight for, and she takes none of it for granted. A mesmerising mix of both her Russian and Egyptian heritage, Nelly is renowned for taking on feisty female characters that challenge stereotypes and break barriers, cultivating a role model status for female success in the Arab world.
5- Nour El-Sherbini
El-Sherbini is the youngest ever female player to reach the top squash tournament’s semifinal, and is a strong competitor for the title of the oldest and most established tournament in the game of squash. El-Sherbini has won the PSA World Championship and has been ranked number 1.
6- Rania Al Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat is Egypt’s new Minister of Tourism; the first woman to hold this position since the ministry was established more than five decades ago. This new title suits the young and successful Egyptian leader, who has always emphasised being driven by a sense of responsibility to serve her country. “Every international and domestic post or recognition along my career path better equips me to competently serve my country,” said Al-Mashat. “That’s my lifelong goal.”
7- Kamla Abu Zekri
Kamla Abu Zekry has established herself as an award-winning director with many great success stories in her repertoire. She is famous for the TV series Bent Esmaha Zaat, Segn El Nisaa, and Wahed Sefr. She has taken part in many national and international film festivals,
8- Farida Osman
Farida Osman proved to the world how far determined Egyptian athletes can get, challenging misconceptions about the power of Egyptian females. Back home she’s forcing a national and public recognition of important sports, other than beloved football, in Egypt.
9- Aya and Mounaz Abdel Raouf
Aya and Mounaz’s fascination with fashion began at a young age. They launched their label OKHTEIN in 2013, and their designs speak provenance with deep cultural associations.
10- Ghada Wali
Ghada Wali is the youngest female speaker representing the MENA region – She believes that graphic design can change the world. The multiple-award-winning designer developed an Arabic typeface that was chosen as one of the best 100 graphic design worldwide as all her designs represent feminism.
11- Anissa Hassouna
Hassouna currently holds the position of executive director of Magdi Yacoub’s foundation, vice president of the board of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and is a lecturer at the Banking Institute in Cairo, and the Diplomatic Institute.