By whatever process of decision-making, the cousin chosen for Sha'arawi was not only a political activist, but a man who encouraged his wife to step out on her own as an individual in her own right. He supported her lecturing to and organizing women politically in their own best interests. He routinely sought her counsel and he even asked her to sit in on high level political meetings when he couldn't be present.
The result of all this was that, by World War I, Sha'arawi had established a women's welfare society to raise money for poor women, had helped to found a union for educated Egyptian women, and had opened a girls school that focused on academics instead of the things that women were usually allowed to learn. And, as soon as the war was over, in a particularly bold move, she started organizing women to protest the British occupation.
Then, in 1923, returning from a women's conference, Sha'arawi came down out of the train and shocked those who had come to meet her by simply removing her veil, instantly becoming -- quite literally -- the face of the Egyptian Feminist Union, a position she filled until her death at the age of sixty-eight. In one courageous act, Sha'arawi demonstrated her in-your-faced-ness by uncovering hers.