In a country where only 4 out of 85 members of the Constituent Assembly are of the female sex, it is no wonder women are misrepresented and slandered in a predominant male power structure. Hisham Kandil, Egypt’s ill-fitted Prime Minister is under attack after his offensive, uneducated outburst during a Cairo press conference on December 20th.
Also under attack for the poor quality of life his people have to face, Kandil’s responses shocked many listeners. He was quoted as saying, “In the 21st century, there are still villages in Egypt where babies are infected with diarrhea… because their mothers nursing them, out of their ignorance, don’t do the personal hygiene of cleaning their breasts”. Kandil’s implications continue, saying whilst “men go to the mosque… women go to the field and get raped…”. Not only is Kandil insinuating that poor infant health is the fault of a woman’s cleanliness, he believes that instead of going to the mosque to cleanse physically and spiritually, women are choosing to be sexually assaulted and degraded.
The effects on the public of these statements from a man in power are unconceivable. Although The Brotherhood has distanced itself from Kandil, they still claim that Kandil is a “decent man”. It is hard for me, personally, to believe a man to be decent who cannot take responsibility for his country’s underdevelopment and uses women as a scapegoat for his own incompetence.
So this led me to ask…what kind of a man is this Hisham Kandil and how did he come to such a position of power? To my surprise, this man was educated in our own United States of America, receiving his master’s degree in engineering from Utah State University in 1988 and a PhD in biological and agricultural engineering with a minor in water resources from North Carolina State University in 1993. At a glance, his resume boasts several high positions in irrigational occupations including Minister of Water Resources and the Nile Basin. How did he become Prime Minister? His nomination perplexed the public, who did not anticipate it, and only a week after being nominated, he was appointed Prime Minister. His embodiment of the Technocracy Movement (where the government is controlled by experts of technology) is clearly detrimental to the humanitarian cause.
I am careful to point out, however, that I am not insinuating that somehow America is outside of this realm of blatant conservative illiteracy. In fact I had a pretty uncanny case of déjà via Mr. Todd Akin’s comment about a woman’s inability to become impregnated by “legitimate rape”. I’m constantly awe-struck at the lack of sexual education that political leaders in all countries possess. I cannot believe the nerve of these politicians who lack sympathy towards women who have been subjected to such cruel and unusual life circumstances. Where a government is more privy to technicalities than emotions, and excuses before research, people lose hope. I can only hope that this man can come to terms with the ignorance he has so openly proclaimed and that the pride of one man, does not, as it so often has in history, grant the suppression of a whole sex.