Reflection on Prostitution in Egypt
Women in Egypt and in the Muslim culture are seen as a minority and this is one of the main factors for prostitution according to the novel Women at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi. Prostitution is a big business in Egypt and a lot of women rely on prostitution in order to survive. In Egypt summer marriages are very common, where a young girl is married to a rich man for a couple of months then discarded. A lot of young girls are sold by their parents to rich men at a very young age for money. These young girls are used for a short time and then are thrown in the streets with nothing. These girls then have no means for survival and therefore are forced into prostitution. This also has a lot to do with how women are perceived in the Muslim Culture, men are far superior to women and therefore women have no power and all they can do is follow the order of the man. This is well illustrated in Women at Point Zero. Firdaus was sold by her uncle to the Sheikh for money. She was severely beaten and abused by her husband and therefore flees away for home. She eventually ended up on the streets with nothing; she had a lot of encounters with men who befriended her just for sexual pleasures. Soon she learned that in order to survive all she could do is give in to the man and become a prostitute. Later she figures out that she was not viewed as respectable women in the society so she decides to quit prostitution and get a respectable job. Soon enough she finds it very hard for a woman to survive with a menial job and therefore ends up back in the lane of prostitution. Money is one of the main incentives for prostitution but other factors such as religion and the power of men in the Muslim culture also comes into play. This is why men in Women at Point Zero are symbolized as heartless and repulsive creatures.
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