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Cairo’s Upscale Gezira Club to ‘Force’ Nannies to Wear Uniforms

Cairo’s Upscale Gezira Club to ‘Force’ Nannies to Wear Uniforms

An aerial view of the Gezira Sporting Club. Photo: Jorge Láscar, via Flickr
An aerial view of the Gezira Sporting Club. Photo: Jorge Láscar, via Flickr

Last week, the Gezira Sporting Club in Cairo issued a new law requiring nannies to wear a single uniform, which includes a coat. According to the executive board of the club, this decision was made to prevent non-members from entering without permission.

The Gezira Club, founded in 1882, is the oldest and largest multi-sport facility in Egypt. It also serves as a place for social gatherings for students and families, who can enjoy the variety of restaurants and playgrounds for children.

Due to the extremely high membership fees, members usually come from the upper classes of Egyptian society, and many of them hire nannies to take care of their children. Until recently, it has been the case that nannies were obligated to carry a unique identification card, free of charge that separated them from the paying members.

The club has taken it a step further, however, now requiring all nannies to also wear a unified costume, including a coat (even in the glaring heat of Cairo) to identify them. This has caused an outcry among many club members, who claim that the decision is elitist and backwards, and allows for segregation and discrimination based on socio-economic status.

A petition has been started to urge club officials to reverse the decision and implement stricter, but less discriminatory, security measures to solve the problem of intruders on the club grounds. The petition has garnered 65 signatures so far.

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Joseph El-Cassabgui is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in International Economics and Energy. He has experience in social entrepreneurship, international development and business development in both Canada and Egypt, and has an interest in politics, economics and social issues. Joseph received his undergraduate degree from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, before completing an M.A. in German Literature, Culture and Theory. He can be reached at [email protected]

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