Dismantling the Patriarchy: Mona Eltahawy in conversation


Africa Writes 2021 Headline Event
Sunday 24 October, 17:00 – 18:30 (BST)

Knowledge Centre Theatre and British Library Player
Tickets: £10 / £8 / £5* (or also included in Sunday Day Pass)

A bold, uncompromising feminist manifesto on how to defy, disrupt and destroy the patriarchy.  

“What would the world look like if girls were taught they were volcanoes, whose eruptions were a thing of beauty, a power to behold?”

Award-winning American-Egyptian journalist, activist and author Mona Eltahawy concludes Africa Writes festival with this special headline event to discuss her latest book The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls with Dr Leyla Hussein, ushering an urgent rallying call to destroy the oppressive systems and attitudes enabled by patriarchy today.

This event will be BSL interpreted.

This is a hybrid event which you can experience either in-person or through live stream on the British Library Player. The safety of our audiences are paramount, if you choose to attend in-person please note we will still be implementing socially distanced measures. Be prepared for a fun, scintillating discussion brought to you with your safety and comfort in mind.




About Mona Eltahawy

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning author, activist, commentator, and one of today’s most powerful and important thought leaders on global feminism. Her first book, Headscarves and Hymens, led international discussion on women and Islam, and her essays and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, TIME, and New York Magazine, among many others. She is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship, and she splits her time between New York City and Cairo. Follow her on Twitter at @monaeltahawy.

About The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls

Seizing upon the energy of the #MeToo movement, feminist activist Mona Eltahawy advocates a muscular, out-loud approach to teaching women and girls to harness their power through what she calls the “seven necessary sins” that women and girls are not supposed to commit: to be angry, ambitious, profane, violent, attention-seeking, lustful, and powerful. All the necessary “sins” that women and girls require to erupt. Brilliant, bold, and energetic, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls is a manifesto for all feminists in the fight against patriarchy.

About Leyla Hussein

Leyla Hussein is a social entrepreneur, psychotherapist specialising in supporting survivors of sexual abuse. She is an international lecturer on female genital mutilation (FGM) and Global speaker on gender rights. She is recognised as one of the key experts on this issue globally and her work has been presented at Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Leeds, Exeter, Coventry University, International School of Geneva and many Ivy League faculties in the US Including Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown, George Washington and Pennsylvania University. Her current project, The Girl Generation, focuses on the importance of the emotional wellbeing of activists in the field working with survivors of FGM. Leyla was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate and became an associate professor at West London University from September 2018.


Image credit: Mona Eltahawy by Angel Garcia

*Join our Arts and Culture Membership for 50% off all full price tickets!

Africa Writes 2021 returns from 4 – 24 October. You can join us in celebrating the imagination, pleasure and activism within contemporary African literature either online, at 180 The Strand and the British Library. Learn more about the 2021 festival headliners. You can also access 50% off all full ticket prices for The British Library events, consider signing up for the RAS Arts & Culture Membership.