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Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi dies at 89

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Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist writer and human rights activist, died on Sunday, March 21, at a hospital in Cairo. She was 89 and was suffering from age-related illnesses. She was known for her work on women’s rights in the Arab world. She was also an ardent supporter of working-class politics and a member of Egyptian left. Her death is being mourned by progressive sections all across the world.

El Saadawi, a medical doctor by training, was born in a village of Kafr Tahla in northern Egypt in 1931. She faced severe state persecution after the publication of her first book Women and Sex in 1972 and her vociferous opposition to female genital mutilation, which was prevalent in Egypt and some other African countries. She fought for equal rights for women, against compulsory veiling and their equal inheritance rights.

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