From the Playground to the Living Room: How Are We Socialized Around Gender Norms?

What shapes our expectations of each gender, and how far back do the ideas we’ve established around gender go? Our guest speakers explore common gender roles and stereotypes in today’s society and how they are formed.

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AUC Discusses Gender Norms and Upbringing in SpeakUp Dialog Series

"Upbringing starts with the image a woman has of herself. It's how you see yourself that will reflect on how you bring up your children," said Sara Aziz, founder and president of Safe Kids. Aziz was one of the speakers at AUC's SpeakUp Dialog Series: From the Playground to the Living Room: How Are We Socialized Around Gender Norms?"

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Hear From Our Panelists


We need to have channels to talk to our children without supposing that we have the right answers.

Hania Sholkamy, '85, '89
Associate Professor, AUC's Social Research Center

One woman shouldn’t be working on her own. Women should work together. When they do, they create change.

Fatma Khafagy (MA '77)
Coordinator of Arab Women Network for Parity and Solidarity (Tha’era)

Upbringing starts with the image a woman has of herself. It's how you see yourself that will reflect on how you bring up your children.

Sara Aziz
Founder and President, Safe Kids

Hania Sholkamy

Hania Sholkamy is an Egyptian anthropologist (PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, The University of London). Her work has focused on gender, health and social protection in Egypt. She designed and piloted the cash transfer programs of the government of Egypt in her capacity as a special advisor to the minister of social solidarity. She is a proponent of feminist social protection and has lobbied for the right of women to receive welfare and pensions in their own right and not as dependents. She was regional coordinator of the “Pathways to Women’s Empowerment Research Consortium” in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, UK.  She is currently a member of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Committee (2019-2022)

She has been a research associate at the International Population Council and was the Ioma Evans Pritchard Junior Research Fellow at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. She has co-edited two volumes, one titled Categories and Contexts: Anthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography (OUP) with S. Szreter and A. Dharmalingam and another titled Health and Identity in Egypt (AUC press) with F. Ghannam.

She has been a visiting fellow and professor at the American University in Beirut, The Arab Gulf University in Bahrain and at Yale University. She is currently an associate research professor at the Social Research Centre of the AUC.

To know more about Hania Sholkamy, click here.

Fatma Khafagy (MA '77)

Khafagy completed her graduate studies in the UK and obtained a PhD in development planning from the University of London. Since 1985, she has worked for UN agencies like UNICEF and UNIFEM and established and headed the first Gender Equality Ombuds Office in Egypt. She is a founder and member of national and regional feminist NGOs and networks such as the Egyptian Feminist Union, the Alliance for Arab Women and she is the Coordinator of Arab Women Network for Parity and Solidarity (Tha’era). She is a member of the gender expert group of the North-South Center of Council of Europe. She has been involved with the UN, government and with civil society in Beijing events, participating in Beijing conferences since 1995 and contributed to regional governmental as well as regional parallel reports on Beijing+10, +15 and +20.

Khafagy works actively with other Arab feminists and networks in lobbying for strengthening the role of Arab women in politics and for combating gender-based violence including political violence. She is the author of several publications on women’s rights and won several national and regional awards recognizing her work. She was selected in August 2019 as one of twenty world feminists in the civil society advisory group advising UN Women, the Mexican and French governments in preparing for Beijing+25 and the Generation Equality Forums.

Sara Aziz

Aziz is the founder and president of Safe Kids EG that was established in 2012. She has a demonstrated history of working on projects related to child and women protection. She is a member of the youth committee in the National Council for Women. She designed and implemented numerous projects with extensive experience in project management. She is accountable to a board of experts which guides the organization’s decision-making process. Besides, she is holding a master's in psychotherapy which allows her to use more effective techniques to translate knowledge into behaviors.

Aziz is a certified counselor with a master’s degree in psychotherapy and a specialized diploma and bachelor’s degree in counseling for survivors of sexual abuse. She has extensive experience in working with children, adolescents and adults who have survived traumas related to child sexual abuse, different kinds of violence. Aziz is a compassionate and effective communicator who is passionate about providing psychological support to sexual abuse survivors as well as halting the abuse cycle by advocating against sexual harassment and violence. She also worked on several projects related to ending violence against women through prevention and intervention methods. Those projects were targeting women protection from violence on several aspects and in different geographic locations.

Aziz works with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Behavioral Therapy, Somatic Therapy, SandBox Therapy and Empty Chair Therapy as therapeutical techniques. She works with children, women, adolescents and adults.


Samar Negida '11, 14

Journalist and Anchor

Negida is a TV announcer and certified media trainer, who worked in several media outlets, including Al Tahrir and Ten TV, and lectures in prominent Egyptian universities. Negida worked as a field reporter in conflict zones from 2011 to 2016, covering revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya for international TV channels. Negida specializes in moderating official conferences and celebrations, including opening the East Port Said Port and scientific conferences of the Egyptian armed forces and the international organizations and Arab governments' dialog sessions. Negida got her BA in journalism from AUC in 2011 and her MA in Television and Digital Journalism in 2013.