|Biographical detail : ||An Egyptian feminist and activist.
Arab world’s most influential and polemical feminist thinkers Nawal el Saadawi enjoys a status among progressives. Her polemics against the position of women in the Middle East are couched in a wider analysis of the role that western imperialism and the class structure of Arab societies have played in entrenching women’s second-class status.
She is known throughout the Arab world for her fiction and non-fiction writing on women. Her works included: Women and Sex (1972) and The Hidden Face of Eve (English translation 1979), which exposed the oppression of women in the Arab world. Much of her work was banned and she spent a spell in prison for speaking out. She was arrested, in 1981, for publishing the feminist magazine Confrontation. She had other works to her credit. Later, after death threats from extremists El Saadawi had to flee the country and lived in the US for a time.
Activist all her adult life Nawal el Saadawi was heavily involved with the January 25 uprising in Egypt, which led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. It was the culmination of an existence dedicated to overthrowing totalitarianism in her homeland.
El Saadawi won many awards for political work and novels including most recent honours in 2011 year’s Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award.
Graduated from Cairo Medical School, in 1955, El Saadawi was trained as a psychiatrist and worked as a medical doctor in her hometown of Tahla, just outside Cairo. It was seeing the mutilation of young girls, honour killings and sexual abuse that set her on a life-long mission to tear down patriarchy and the subjugation of women in the Arab world, and further afield, too.