Obstacles Facing Women in Creative Fields

Nawal El Saadawi

Dr. Nawal El Saadawi Photo by Melafestivalen - Oslo, CC-BY-NC-SA/2.0

A conversation with Nawal El Saadawi, pioneering Egyptian doctor, feminist and writer. She discusses her experiences as an activist for women's rights in the Middle East and throughout the world, her opposition to female genital mutilation, and the role of power, politics, and religion in oppression of women worldwide. 

Dr. Saadawi served as Egypt's Director of Public Health until 1972, when she was dismissed after publishing her non-fiction book, Women and Sex, which condemned female genital mutilation and the sexual oppression of women. She was imprisoned in in 1981 by the government of Anwar Sadat, where she wrote her personal memoir using a makeup pencil and toilet paper. Celebrated internationally, and attacked for her outspoken advocacy for women's rights, her books have been translated into some 40 languages. Dr. Saadawi was named one of Time Magazine's 100 top women of the year in 2020. She died on March 21, 2021 at the age of 89.