Al Taa’ Al Marbouta at the United Nations

The Egyptian women’s rights organization Al Taa’ Al Marbouta announced on March 15 at the sixty- first annual Conference on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations that it would be expanding internationally. At the CSW, the organization held the Global Launch of the Taa’ Marbouta Campaign, organized by the Egyptian Mission to the UN. The group, named after the Arabic letter that marks words as feminine, was launched in October 2016 in Cairo by the Egyptian National Council for Women (NCW) and the UN. Taa’ marbouta literally means “the ’t’ that is chained,” but the slogan of the campaign is “Taa’ Marbouta is not your restriction, it is your strength.”

According to an Egyptian Civil Society Organization leader, the Egyptian government officially supported the organization last year by giving free television and radio airtime to spread knowledge. Members of the audience from other Arab, Middle Eastern, and African countries were hopeful that the campaign would be well-received in their countries, despite the organization’s Egyptian origins.

This movement is different from many others because of its accessibility and relevance to the ordinary people of Egypt. According to panelists at the CSW, this campaign features local Egyptian people. The panelists agreed that lasting change must come from credible sources and should be universally accessible. Egyptian men and women, they said, can watch the videos and see themselves.