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Mortgaging Women's Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment


Sparr, Pamela, ed. 1994. Mortgaging Women's Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment. London: Zed Books

Author: Pamela Sparr


This book explores the impact on Third World women of the stringent economic prescriptions of the World Bank and IMF. Introductory chapters explain in non-jargonistic terms exactly what structural adjustment is. These are followed by feminist critiques of its implications, and then a series of carefully chosen case studies examining the specific dimensions of structural adjustment in countries as diverse as Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Sri Lanka and the Philippines (Summary from WorldCat).
Table of Contents:
1. What is structural adjustment?
Pamela Sparr
2. Feminist critiques of structural adjustment
Pamela Sparr
3. Privatization and the demise of state feminism in Egypt
Mervat F. Hatem
4. Ghana: women in the public and informal sectors under the economic recovery programme
Takyiwaa Manuh
5. What has export-oriented manufacturing meant for Turkish women?
Nilüfer Çagatay, Günseli Berik
6. Structural adjustment policies, industrial development and women in Sri Lanka
Swarna Jayaweera
7. The dynamics of economic change and gender roles: export cropping in the Philippines
Maria Sagrario Floro
8. Nigeria: agricultural exports and compensatory schemes -- rural women's production resources and quality of life
Patience Elabor-Idemudia
9. Hitting where it hurts most: Jamaican women's livelihoods in crisis
Joan French
10. Banking on women: where do we go from here?
Pamela Sparr

Topics: Development, Globalization, Privatization Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Egypt, Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey

Year: 1994

Contentious and Prefigurative Politics: Vigilante Groups' Struggle against Sexual Violence in Egypt (2011-2013)


Tadros, Mariz. 2015. “Contentious and Prefigurative Politics: Vigilante Groups’ Struggle against Sexual Violence in Egypt (2011–2013).” Development and Change 46 (6): 1345–68. doi:10.1111/dech.12210.

Author: Mariz Tadros


This article analyses the drivers, mobilizational tactics and manoeuvrings of informal, youth-led initiatives that emerged in post-Mubarak Egypt to counter the growing threat of sexual violence against women in public spaces. The findings are based on empirical research into youth-led activism against gender-based violence during 2011‒2013. The approach adopted is a case study of three initiatives, Bassma (Imprint), Shoft Taharosh (Harassment Seen) and Opantish (Operation Anti Sexual Harassment). Informal youth-based initiatives in the context of the post-January 2011 uprising have generally been criticized for their lack of sustainability, organizationally and politically. However, the examination of activism against gender-based violence through the lens of prefigurative politics shows the inherent value of experimentation and its contribution to innovations in public outreach. The value of the initiatives studied in this article also lies in their mobilizational power which inadvertently produces ‘repertoires’ of knowledge, skills and resources to engage the citizenry and capture their imagination. In the long run, such repertoires may allow for the emergence of organized and sustained forms of political agency. The article suggests that a cross-fertilization of prefigurative and contentious politics offers a framework for understanding temporally- and spatially-bound forms of collective political agency.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2015

Nada's Revolution

"A coming of age story in the wake of the Arab Spring, NADA’S REVOLUTION is an intimate portrait of a young, post-revolution Egyptian woman fighting for her freedom and independence in a society caught between old traditions and modernization. Amidst the political turmoil that has paralyzed Egypt for almost three years, we follow Nada’s struggle to establish herself as an independent woman and theater professional as she sets out to make her old dream come true: to work with children’s theater.

Transnational Family Networks in the Somali Diaspora in Egypt: Women’s Roles and Differentiated Experiences


Al-Sharmani, Mulki. 2010. “Transnational Family Networks in the Somali Diaspora in Egypt: Women’s Roles and Differentiated Experiences.” Gender, Place & Culture 17 (4): 499–518. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2010.485843.

Author: Mulki Al-Sharmani


Diasporic Somalis are increasingly leading a transnational life in which family members are sustained through networks of relations, obligations and resources that are located in different nation-states. These networks and relations enable diasporic Somalis to seek safety for themselves and their relatives, minimize risks and maximize family resources. In this article, I examine three key dimensions of such a way of life, namely: migration; remittances; and transnational family care. I focus on the roles that women play in this family-based support system. For instance, women move and facilitate the movement of other family members; they remit to family members; and they provide care for children and sick relatives. But these transnational households are not free from tensions. Family members are placed in hierarchical relations shaped by age; parental authority; possession of western citizenship; financial resources; and bonds of familial reciprocity and gratitude. Women gain appreciation from relatives and a sense of self-respect for their new roles. Some of the women also make use of the family network to arrange for the care of their children and sick relatives, while they engage in transnational trading activities. However, young and single female relatives often sacrifice or delay their individual dreams because of their familial obligations. I conclude that transnationalism – as a way of organizing and sustaining livelihood, resources and relations of Somali families – is not always emancipating or marginalizing for Somali women. Rather the benefits and challenges of such a way of life for women are different, mixed and uneven.

Keywords: diaspora, transnationalism, gender, refugee families

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Africa, East Africa, North Africa Countries: Egypt, Somalia

Year: 2010

Feminism Inshallah: A History Of Arab Feminism

"The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring.

Cutting across Imperial Feminisms toward Transnational Feminist Solidarities


Deb, Basuli. “Cutting across Imperial Feminisms toward Transnational Feminist Solidarities.” Meridians 13, no. 2 (2016): 164–88. doi:10.2979/meridians.13.2.09.

Author: Basuli Deb


Photography, not only by imperial men but also by imperial women, has played a significant role in portraying the Muslim woman as the apolitical exotic of orientalist fantasies. The legacy of colonial photography by European women travelers continues to haunt the media of the global North even today. Such imperial feminist discourse on women in Egypt was blatant in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's December 2011 announcement of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security at Georgetown University, as well as in the rhetoric of Laura Bush, Cherie Booth, and Condoleezza Rice on the War on Terror and Afghan and Iraqi women. In contrast, this article draws on the photographic counter-narratives, like “the girl in the blue bra,” that transnational feminists circulated through social media during the people's uprising in Egypt beginning in 2011 to evoke powerful images of women from the global south. It also examines the figure of the pan-Arab feminist Huda Shaarawi, who in 1919 organized the largest women's anti-British demonstration, and became in 1935 the vice president of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, and in 1945 the founding president of the Arab Feminist Union. Bringing these figures into conversation with Angela Davis's encounter with women in Egypt in her book Women, Culture, and Politics opens up new spaces for cross-border feminisms that cut across imperial legacies that continue to define relationships between women of the global North and the global South.

Keywords: feminism, race, transnationalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Race, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2016

Reconstructing Gender in Post-Revolutionary Egypt


Shereen Abouelnaga. 2015. “Reconstructing Gender in Post-Revolutionary Egypt.” In Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance : Lessons from the Arab World, edited by Maha El Said, Lena Meari and Nicola Pratt. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Author: Shereen Abouelnaga

Topics: Gender, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2015

Women, Youth, and the Egyptian Arab Spring


ALl, Fatuma Ahmed, and Hannah Muthoni Macharia. 2013. “Women, Youth, and the Egyptian Arab Spring.” Peace Review 25 (3): 359–66.


Author: Fatuma Ahmed Ali


The article assesses the impact of women and youth in promoting positive peace in the wake of the Egyptian Arab Spring. It explores the interlinked relationships between the involvement of women and youth in the uprising, the role of social media and their access to mediums of communication. A number of factors were found to contribute to the success of the uprising including a feeling of discontentment, as well as intercultural experiences, and demands for freedom and social justice.

Keywords: women, youth, peace, history, social media, communication, liberty, social justice

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Justice, Peacekeeping Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2013

Gender Equality in a Time of Change: Gender Mainstreaming after Egypt’s Arab Spring


Shash, Farah Gamal, and Carie L. Forden. 2016. “Gender Equality in a Time of Change: Gender Mainstreaming after Egypt’s Arab Spring.” Women’s Studies International Forum 56 (May): 74–82. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2015.12.006.


Authors: Farah Gamal Shash, Carie L. Forden


In this article, we examine the implementation of gender mainstreaming in post-revolutionary Egypt. In-depth interviews with gender mainstreaming implementers found contested views of how to achieve gender equality using gender mainstreaming, tensions between “gender equality” and “mainstream” agendas, and challenges with implementing a global strategy in an Egyptian context. We conclude that there is a need to rethink the implementation of gender mainstreaming and to increase commitment to it on both the governmental and organizational levels. Including men and taking culture into account are key to success, and building consensus around the issue of equality among women's groups should be helpful. Although progress is likely to be slow, we argue that gender mainstreaming has the potential to move equality forward in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2016

The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism


Amar, Paul. 2013. The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Paul Amar


In The Security Archipelago, Paul Amar provides an alternative historical and theoretical framing of the refashioning of free-market states and the rise of humanitarian security regimes in the Global South by examining the pivotal, trendsetting cases of Brazil and Egypt. Addressing gaps in the study of neoliberalism and biopolitics, Amar describes how coercive security operations and cultural rescue campaigns confronting waves of resistance have appropriated progressive, antimarket discourses around morality, sexuality, and labor. The products of these struggles—including powerful new police practices, religious politics, sexuality identifications, and gender normativities—have traveled across an archipelago, a metaphorical island chain of what the global security industry calls "hot spots." Homing in on Cairo and Rio de Janeiro, Amar reveals the innovative resistances and unexpected alliances that have coalesced in new polities emerging from the Arab Spring and South America's Pink Tide. These have generated a shared modern governance model that he terms the "human-security state."
(Duke University Press)

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Security, Human Security, Sexuality Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Americas, South America, Middle East Countries: Brazil, Egypt

Year: 2013


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