Doria Shafik (1908-1975) was one of the main leaders of the women’s liberation movement in Egypt. Women were granted the vote by constitution in 1956 as a direct result of her efforts.
She studied and obtained her PhD at the Sorbonne, but was refused a teaching position at Cairo University under the pretext that she was ‘too modern’. Instead she became editor-in-chief of the magazine La Femme Nouvelle, and later published a second magazine aimed at educating Egyptian women. In 1948 she created an organization that strived to offer women jobs and eradicate illiteracy. In 1951, she created the first female military unit of Egypt.