The first female maazun , Amal Soliman, has been appointed in Egypt. A maazun is the public notary who performs wedding ceremonies and authorizes marriage and divorce certificates. Her appointment has been the cause of much controversy in the Islamic country, due to laws banning women from mosques when they have their period. However, Soliman said she will make house calls, if necessary, during the times she cannot legally enter a mosque.
Still, her acceptance has been met with resistance among the young, traditional Muslims. "She can't do the job. I mean, there are so many reasons that she can't, but when it comes down to it, women are not made to be in positions of power," Heba Mahmoud, a female student at Cairo University said. Her belief is being echoed throughout the country.
Soliman, however, is excited to begin and believes her gender as female will aid her in one aspect of her job, making sure young brides are not being coerced into the marriage. 1 in 3 brides under the age of 18 in Egypt are forced into marriage.
As happy as I was to hear this news, Soliman said something that bothered me. "I don't want people, especially the West, to take me as a victory for women in Egypt and the Middle East. I am Egyptian and a Muslim so what I am doing is for here and not for the West."
How are Western feminists perceived in countries in the Arab world. Does Soliman truly believe that Western feminists would claim her victory as our own? We stand in solidarity with her and women all around the world, and we are excited women's successes everywhere, but we don't claim them as our own successes.