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The Story of Marie Assad: Environmentalist and Fighter Against Female Genital Mutilation

July 25, 2019

In a long list of influential Egyptian women who have fought ferociously for women’s rights and the overall community, Marie Assad comes among the top for her incredible efforts as an activist, environmentalist and social scientist in combatting the prevalent practice of female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM). Born in the Cairene district of Faggala on October 16, 1922, Assad witnessed first-hand family and social bias against girls due to her father’s preference for a son over a daughter. Nevertheless, in a Watani Forum in 2001, Assad affirmed that a patriarchal society is oppressive to both men and women, as men’s physical and moral power creates for them a self-inflicted burden. Yet while many men remain oblivious to the injustices that exist in the overall social structure, women are often oppressively crushed when they rebel against it, and may cite female circumcision as one clear instance of that oppressive crushing. Assad’s extraordinary life journey began with social work at a young age while she was a schoolgirl at the Cairo American College for girls. She volunteered to assist underprivileged families that suffered from tuberculosis, and generously helped their…

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