Aisha Rateb

Wed, Nov. 20, 2013
Aisha Rateb, former minister of insurance and social affairs and Egypt’s first female ambassador, passed away at age 85 on May 4. In 1955, after her application to become a judge was rejected on the grounds she was female; she sued the government for violating her constitutional rights. She lost the case but went on to become the first woman to join the staff of Cairo University’s Faculty of Law, her alma mater, and the first woman to teach international law there. Rateb served as minister under Sadat, resigning in 1977 to protest the president’s decision to lift subsidies on bread. Two years later, she was appointed ambassador and posted to Denmark and later Germany.
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