Egyptian actress Amina Khalil was appointed as UNFPA’s Egypt’s honorary ambassador last night at Marriott Zamalek. Her speech beautifully touched on the importance of empowering women, and enforcing gender equality in Egypt. Khalil explains that this is a “cause that hits home for [her] on so many levels.”
It is true, as Khalil says, that no one gets what it’s like to be a woman, except for a woman. For so many decades, women are “judged, belittled and underestimated” simply for being a woman. And this is why the actress decided to “fight the good fight,” the fight with an invaluable cause.
Through her work with the UNFPA, Amina has worked on giving women greater control over their own lives, bodies, and destinies. To this day, women are still denied control over their own lives. She hopes that Egypt will reach a place where women have the right to freely determine the number, and spacing of the children they have.
“It is time to break our silence,” the actress remarked. Khalil explains that there are “many silent teary-eyed girls out there that are sad, powerless and burdened.” She hopes that she can use her power as an actress, and as a social media influencer, to make their silenced voices heard.
It is true that now is the time. Now is the time to act for girls and women everywhere. Khalil so cleverly takes advantage of her position as an actress to embrace roles that promote women empowerment, and denounce behavior that divides women’s sense of equality and ownership of their body, and their lives. As an artist, she insists on instilling a voice in women that constantly reminds them that they are important. “That they are somebody, somebody that has to be respected and never neglected.”
The UNFPA’s goals include ensuring access to voluntary family planning, and empowering women to complete their education, joining the paid labor force, and enabling them to reach their full potential. She further explains that “as long as women are subjected to violence, including sexual harassment, in and out of their homes, there is a lot to be done here.”
Indeed, there is a lot to be done. But, last night marked Egypt’s best hope for redirecting itself to a more humane, just, and gender-equal place. As Khalil so accurately puts it, “with courage, strength, perseverance, and the right initiative, things can and will change, and dreams will come true.”