1908 First Women

Malaka Saad: One of the first founders of women’s magazines in Lebanon

Malaka Saad was a critical writer, addressing the preoccupation of women in their looks and their lack of involvement in working alongside men. In 1908, she published the first edition of al-Jens al-Latif (The Gentler Sex) one of the first women’s magazines in the Arab world 1. With women as its target audience, it called upon them to edify themselves by becoming better versed in the arts and literature. She also followed the progression of the women’s movements in the region, particularly in Egypt, where she resided for most of her life. In the preface of the first edition of al-Jens al-Latif she wrote:

“The magazine aims to empower women as human beings who know that freedom is not about makeup, wearing luxurious clothes, showing off, and lacking self-restraint. Freedom is about knowing our right and duty to not be insulted or sold for a price like slaves; to not be a toy in the hands of men who believe we were not created to help them, but to be lying comfortably in humiliation, deprived of participating in beneficial public works.” 2