In a data collection setting in Cairo, I asked a nurse if any woman could walk into a healthcare unit to get contraceptives, she nodded affirmatively. A perplexed pause, then I asked her about the requirements; she explained that the husband’s ID is required to open a family file at the local healthcare unit. Then it made sense, the healthcare system does not see unmarried women as contraceptive users. All the awareness messaging uplifting access barriers to contraceptives mean to target married women.
Since the beginning of 2021, came under spotlight Egypt’s senate and parliament discussions around a bill amending some provisions of the Penal Code toughening penalties for female genital mutilation (FGM). Some of those discussions that infiltrated the media provoked a 90’s nostalgia, in which the majority of members asserted the need for more punitive reactions to a never-dying practice while debating the vitality of the cutting and the cultural and religious reasoning maintaining this harmful practice.
Population and development have historically been intertwined. For decades, economic growth and family size have been viewed as two sides of a single equation. Population policies and strategies are typically statistic-heavy, number-focused documents until initiatives from feminists and women’s rights groups introduced human rights principles to these endeavors (Samir, 2020). As Egypt’s population topped 100 million this year, the state is seeking to reduce the total fertility rate (TFR), which currently stands at 3.5.