Single women throughout the world live in apartments, travel alone and enjoy nights out with friends of both sexes. Layla is a 31 year old graduate of college who obtained a job in Cairo and after several months of commuting decided to end four hours of daily traveling in exchange for a comfortable apartment near her work place. At that point, she encountered a prejudice that only single female Egyptian women encounter in the quest for living space. She contacted the manager of an apartment building in which several foreigners lived, but was told by the owner of the building that he “doesn’t like Egyptians.” At the next place the owner did not like girls(single ones, that is). As Asama Fareg, director of a shelter for women puts it: “in the Egyptian society, a woman has no choice. She can’t live by herself, she has to live with her parents or with her husband.”
Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile 21st century life in some parts of the planet with other parts, particularly when discussing issues of gender. Oh well, we have another 90 years to go before the century concludes.