This Woman Is Running For President Of Egypt

They call her "the woman who is like a hundred men." She calls herself "a girl of the revolution." And now newscaster turned activist Bothaina Kamel is running for president, the first woman to do so in the country's history.

The New York Times profiles Kamel, who participated in pro-democracy rallies even before the wave that brought down Hosni Mubarak and would act as a human shield on behalf of young demonstrators.

Kamel used to host a call-in show that sounds kind of like Loveline, called "Nighttime Confessions,: which The Times says would tackle topics like "sexual abuse, and premarital and extramarital sex. The program was abruptly taken off the airwaves in 1998, accused by a state committee on religion of damaging the reputation of Egypt and its youth." Later, Kamel became a news anchor who realized that the dissonance between the government line she was given to read and the oppressive reality on the streets. Eventually, in 2006, she took a leave of absence rather than lie on-air.


Now she's running on the vague but impressive-sounding motto, "My agenda is Egypt." She's working to try to ease sectarian tensions that have emerged since the revolution's success.

There's not much in the profile about the status of women in Egypt — the absence of any woman on the committee to form the constitution, for example, or the abusive "virginity tests" protesters were subjected to. There's some promise in this also-vague sentence: "I am concerned with a social revolution in Egypt more than a political revolution. If you don't have a social revolution in Egypt, all these gains will be lost."


Muslim Woman Seeks Egyptian Presidency [NYT]

Image via Flickr.