No male guests: single Egyptian women endure uninvited attention ...

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No male guests: single Egyptian women endure uninvited attention or worse

A woman’s suicide has highlighted the social pressure on women living alone in this conservative society

Mai Shams Eldin

Nesma Nasr once stayed a week without water in her Cairo flat, afraid to call a plumber because of the scrutiny from neighbours she feared a male visitor would provoke.

As a young woman living alone, she says she fears the kind of social control that became a talking point last month when a 35-year-old fell to her death from a balcony in Cairo after neighbours confronted her over suspected premarital relations.

The death prompted an outpouring of anguish from women who say living independently in the conservative, Muslim-majority country is a daily struggle. Some posted photos of themselves on social media dressed in black to express solidarity with the victim...

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