In some Arab countries women still have to ask permission from a male relative to get a passport, marry or leave the country. Although the practice of “male guardianship” is not always enshrined in law, it persists in everyday life within many families.
As part of the 100 Women season, the BBC asked three female cartoonists from North Africa to take up their pens and illustrate how the custom continues to affect women’s lives in their countries.
“The issue that symbolises male guardianship most in our country is the question of young brides,” says award-winning Egyptian cartoonist Doaa el-Adl.
“There is a trend for wealthy Gulf men to travel to the impoverished Egyptian rural areas to find much younger, temporary brides.”
As a hard-hitting political cartoonist tackling taboo issues like FGM and sexual harassment, el-Adl frequently courts controversy and has even been accused of blasphemy.
The phrase ‘young brides’ means girls …
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