Intersectionality and Violence against Women

Having read the article “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics And Violence Against Women of Color” by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, according to my own understanding from what the author means by intersectionality, I can say that author wants to highlight the other subtle reasons why women are subject to discrimination and violence, stating that male domination is not the only reason behind that. There exist other social and economic reasons contributing to the  obstacles women in color face. According to the article, most women of color who were subject to battering are unemployed and have so many burdens such as child care and lack of money. If we look at their cases generally, one might think that the abusive relationship in which they are involved is the major reason behind their suffering, but actually this is not the case. If the society had offered equal opportunities to women of color as it offers to white women -education and employment opportunities- they could have been more independent and could live by their own without having the constant need of a spouse. And there are no actual solutions to the problem because the underlying reasons are not even addressed.

I do not think that the issue of color is a big deal contributing to women suppression in the Egyptian society if we are limited to the Egyptian women. However, women are subject to other numerous discriminatory behaviors. Many women are subject to violence by their spouses and even some non-married girls are subject to violence by their their male relatives. The Egyptian society had developed -along the past decades or even the last century- a norm that divorce is shameful and that women should not resort to it whatever they face. They had to endure to keep their family -looking- coherent and to be able to raise the children. Many women, specially from poor areas where women are not likely to join high education, hence are not like to have decent well paid jobs had to suffer a lot and keep being silent because there is nothing to be done.

I did not encounter a real life issue of violence against women of color, since I think this is not a significant issue among the Egyptian people in Cairo, however, a couple of years ago, I was conducting a research about female Sudanese refugees in Egypt. The Sudanese refuges are subject to more than one kind of discrimination and subordination. They had great difficulties seeking asylum in Egypt and getting recognized as official refugees. They had problems registering their children in an Egyptian education system -due to the limited places in the Egyptian schools and due to the bullying the children face from their Egyptian comrades- since the great majority of them can’t afford private education. The problem associated with the female refugees were mostly centered around employment and discrimination from the Egyptians. The female Sudanese used to work as maids or work in plaiting hair. They are not paid good amounts of money. Three years ago, I have witnessed a bullying situation for non-Egyptian black-skinned women in the Metro. Five or six black-skinned women were harassed and insulted by some Egyptian young ladies. They were not able to defend themselves since they are a minority in a foreign country.

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