Nawal El Saadawi
October 27,1931 -
Nawal El Saadawi is a leading Egyptian
feminist writer, activist and physician, and an
advocate of equal rights for women. She is a
former political prisoner and her incarceration
formed the basis for her memoir, "Memoirs
from the Women's Prison" (1983).
Excerpt from "Memoirs from Women's Prison" (1983)
Are not women who suffer most severely the consequences of the economic crisis that hits the dispossessed majorities with fury, also affecting other social classes of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean?
“Writing: such has been my crime ever since I was a small child. To
this day writing remains my crime. Now, although I am out of prison,
I continue to live inside a prison of another sort, one without steel bars.
For the technology of oppression and might without justice has become more
advanced, and the fetters imposed on mind and body have become invisible.
The most dangerous shackles are the invisible ones, because they deceive
people into believing they are free. This delusion is the new prison that
people inhabit today, north and south, east and west...We inhabit the age of
the technology of false consciousness, the technology of hiding truths behind
amiable humanistic slogans that may change from one era to another...
Democracy is not just freedom to criticize the government or head of
state, or to hold parliamentary elections.True democracy obtains only when the
people - women, men, young people, children - have the ability to change
the system of industrial capitalism that has oppressed them since the earliest
days of slavery: a system based on class division, patriarchy, and military might, a hierarchical system that subjugates people merely because they are born poor, or female, or dark-skinned.”