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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Egyptian women: Nesma
BBCArabic.com spoke to eight Egyptian girls about their everyday lives and hopes for a better future.

17, university student

22, unemployed

15, unemployed

16, student
20, unemployed

16, factory worker

18, university student

17, unemployed


My name is Nesma and I am 15 years old.

My parents want to force me into working in a pottery factory with my brother who already works there.

Nesma wants a job that will make her more independent...
I don't want to do it because it is an exhausting job. I want for myself a better job that pays better so I can help my family and my little sister and be independent in the future.

I don't like working in the factory because it is a very tiring job, even though workers there are proud of their creations.

I would like to work for a clothing manufacturer and for my brothers and sisters to finish their education and live in better conditions.

My mother had twin girls just eight months ago. One of them died after three months.

Boy at work in local pottery factory
... but not in her local pottery factory
My other sister Fayza can't walk or crawl although she is over two-years-old.

I wish she can be treated so she can be able to walk like other kids.

I also wish my brother Hussein, who is in the third primary year, will finish school.

I hope that some day he will become a teacher or an officer and that we will be as well-off as other people are.

Your comments on Nesma's views.

I feel very bad about Nesma's ordeal where parents are forcing her to work in a factory. What I would like to tell her is that she should first talk to her parents and tell them how she feels about her starting a job in a factory which is bad and she is still vey young. I should just encourage her to go to school and aim very high so that she can in future look after her brothers, parents and sisters. I wish her good luck.
Arnold Simachembele, Lusaka, Zambia



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