Twelve Women in a Cell

Nawal el Saadawi

– What are you?
– Human
Twelve Women in a Cell celebrates and gives tribute to women of “disobedience”.

This autobiographical play tells the story of women of differing backgrounds and beliefs, imprisoned in the same cell in Egypt in 1980. Prostitutes and criminals are forced to wait on the political prisoners. The humanity, tenderness, and humour in this play reveal universal truths recognisable to all cultures.

A tribute from the students of E15 to these Arab women and all women who have the courage of “disobedience”.


Nawal el Saadawi

Egyptian writer and feminist Nawal el Saadawi was born in 1931 in the village of Kafi r Tahla. El Saadawi qualifi ed as a doctor in 1955 in Cairo and has been repeatedly punished by the Egyptian government because her experiences as a medical doctor lead her to write about the taboo issue of womanhood and sexuality. Her novels and books on the situation of women in Egyptian and Arab society have had a deep effect on successive generations of young women over the last three decades.