Students to debate key women’s issues
The American University in Cairo's Women Empowerment Club (WEC) will be conducting its first Debate Night this Monday, April 30. This public debate session will discuss topics pertaining to issues that women in Egypt face.
The WEC, founded last year, strives to improve the status of women in the region by raising awareness of women's issues both on and off campus. According to their Facebook group, the club attempts to "encourage the AUC community to volunteer and eventually become a tool to empower disempowered women in the Arab world."
WEC founder and president Alia Eshaq encourages the AUC community to attend this event to be held on April 30 at the room formerly known as Suzanne Mubarak Hall (room P071), starting at 6 PM.
The debate will revolve around three topics concerning issues that women currently face. The first topic is the extent of discrimination surrounding the veil in Egypt. The second topic examines effects of the Arab Spring on women and whether it has created a positive or negative effect. Finally, they will discuss sexual harassment "who is to blame" for it.
"We still want to bring in views not necessarily for or against, more like different views about what the problem is. The three topics that we chose are heated debates," said Eshaq.
The purpose of the event is not to prove one side wrong and the other right, but rather raise awareness about different gender issues in the Middle East.
Nour Akroush, head of WEC's recruitment, feels that discussing these topics will be beneficial to the community.
"It is important for Egyptians to know the status of women after the revolution," she said.
Eshaq and Akroush stressed on the point that being exposed to "different perspectives" is a key point of these debates, and that this event is something new for students on campus.
"There are other debates [on campus] but they are always limited to presidential candidates and Student Union (SU) candidates. We never had students engage in an organized event so it's a first of its kind," said Eshaq.
In addition, the club invited the Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Administration, Jennifer Bremer, to moderate the debates.
Eshaq hopes that these debates will provide a new side to the issues as well as teach students and faculty the art of debate.