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‘Violence against women is taking on new shapes and forms’

One of Egypt's leading human rights lawyers explains why her country's attitude to women is worsening

By Jessica Abrahams  

Azza Soliman, left, speaks to a woman in Cairo © Rene Clement/ActionAid

Azza Soliman’s father wasn’t like other Egyptian men. “He always encouraged me to stand up for my rights…he was different,” said the human rights lawyer. Despite the fact that Egyptian law states that women should inherit less than their male siblings, before his death Soliman’s father insisted that she would inherit an equal share.

In 1995, Soliman co-founded the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) in a slum area of Cairo known as…

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