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Egypt

Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2018. "Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations." Politics, Groups, and Identities 6 (4): 666-81.

Author: Valentine Moghadam

Abstract:

The Arab Spring has been extensively analyzed but the presence or absence of violent protests and the divergent outcomes of the uprising that encompassed the Arab region have not been explained in terms of the salience of gender and women’s mobilizations. I argue that women’s legal status, social positions, and collective action prior to the Arab Spring helped shape the nature of the 2011 mass protests as well as the political and social outcomes of individual countries. I compare and contrast two sets of cases: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, which saw non-violent protests and relatively less repression on the part of the state; and Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, where states responded to the protests, whether violent or non-violent, with force and repression, and where women and their rights have been among the principal victims. I also show why women fared worse in Egypt than in Morocco and Tunisia.

Keywords: Arab Spring, women's rights, women's mobilizations, outcomes, violence, democratization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Nonviolence, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Year: 2018

Smoke and Mirrors: State-Sponsored Feminism in Post-Uprising Egypt

Citation:

Allam, Nermin. 2019. "Smoke and Mirrors: State-Sponsored Feminism in Post-uprising Egypt." Social Research 86 (1): 365-86.

Author: Nermin Allam

Annotation:

Summary:
"In 2012, I carried out my first round of interviews with women in Egypt. I was then studying their experiences in the 2011 uprising that led to the ousting of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The aura that surrounded the interviews at that time was marked by cautious optimism, hope, and a belief in a better future. This aura, however, was short-lived, and soon came to an end with the resurgence of gender inequality and the failure of democratic transition in Egypt. Themes of despair and disappointment became fundamental features of my interviews in 2014, and more intensely in 2017, as female participants reflected on their experiences and their expectations for change following the uprising. Participants described the sense of feeling "worthless [belā qīmah]," "exhausted [ta'banah]," and "depleted [mu'damah]." However, whenever I asked if that was the end of change and reform, they hastily responded: "Not yet." 
 
Activists often asserted that the experience of collective action had changed them and that "things" cannot return to the "old days." However, as other participants asserted during my interviews and as is still the case at the time of this writing, "things" seem by far worse in comparison to the "old days," which leaves unanswered the question of what has really changed. The answer is that the agenda of women's rights did shift in the evolving political landscape that followed the 2011 Egyptian uprising, specifically with the revival of state feminism under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 
 
Al-Sisi's regime has sought to contain women's groups through policies of state-sponsored feminism, meaning the different ways in which the regime moves to offer limited advancements in women's rights during periods of economic development (Hatem 1992). In exchange for these limited rights, the regime sanctions independent feminist initiatives while it actually restricts their autonomy (Hatem 1992). Except for the brief period immediately following the uprising, state-sponsored feminism throughout Egypt's modern history has marked and governed gender politics, ostensibly laying essential foundations for improving the lives of women. However, in the absence of a strong independent feminist movement, this foundation was vulnerable to regressive backlash as soon as the political structure changed (Kato 2017). 
 
Unlike the "first lady syndrome" (Elsadda 2011) associated with former Egyptian regimes, characterized by the first lady and her clique intervening on behalf of women's groups and championing women's rights, the president himself, in what I call "al-Sisi Syndrome," has personally taken on that responsibility. His policies have yielded significant developments and advancements but also challenges for women's rights in Egypt, including the populist discourses embraced by the regime to control the agenda of women's rights and to discredit independent feminists. 
 
The backlash against women's rights in Egypt following the 2011 uprising underscores the ways in which state-sponsored feminism as a political opportunity is a "fickle friend" (Tarrow 1998, 89). It constantly shifts and changes and can eventually turn against members that contributed to opening this space and benefited from it. I prefer the term "flickering" to "fickle" because it encompasses the possibility that even if state-sponsored feminism does not outright turn on its members, it nevertheless engenders mixed outcomes anddisappointments. It creates a unique set of opportunities and challenges for the women's movement in Egypt. These opportunities and obstacles condition the development of the movement, the resonance of women's rights discourse, and the access of different women's groups to decision-making and political participation. 
 
The policies of state-sponsored feminism under al-Sisi bear great resemblance to the gender policies of Mubarak's regime yet also entail new articulations. It is fruitful, therefore, to compare the historical and current contours of the policy and examine how the interests, identities, and strategies of different actors changed following the uprising. Doing so reveals the limitations of state-sponsored feminism in renegotiating the relationship between state institutions and civil society organizations. Such analysis also highlights the potential of state feminism to challenge gendered social norms and perceptions among the different segments in the society." (Allam 2019, 365-67)

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2019

Building Resilient Societies: The Relevance of UNSCR 1325 in Egypt's Political Transition

Citation:

Nasser, Salma. 2018.  "Building Resilient Societies: The Relevance of UNSCR 1325 in Egypt's Political Transition." Journal of International Women's Studies 19 (6): 35-52.

Author: Salma Nasser

Abstract:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 and the more recent 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122 and 2242 reflect a rights-based approach to human security with a focus on the prevention of violence against women and girls and fostering their active and meaningful participation in public life in conflict and post conflict contexts. This is a particularly important framework in the African context where, over the past 5 years alone, conflict has plagued over 18 countries and has had devastating socio-economic impacts on women and led to the weakening of justice systems and social norms, which at the best of times secure minimum protection for women. In 2011 the North of the continent boiled over with political unrest which culminated with civil war in some countries. A notable phenomenon is that even in countries that escaped the predicament of armed conflict, women were subject to many of the same threats. As such, while UNSCR 1325 addresses the protection of women in times of armed conflict and peace building, provisions are still relevant in cases of political transition such as that of Egypt where there have been serious challenges to security, justice and accountability. The institutional framework in place for protecting women in conflict calls for their integration into the ensuing decision making process and inclusive dialogue is the only way to develop resilient and effective institutions for societies in transition. This paper will present a case study of lessons that could be learnt from UNSCR 1325 in terms of protecting women and girls from violence; ensuring the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in national policies; and increasing the participation of women in decisionmaking and political transition processes.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, women's rights, Violence against women, political transition, Egypt, peace building

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Justice, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, UNSCR 2242 Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2018

Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Lahai, John Idris, and Khanyisela Moyo, ed. 2018. Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: John Idriss Lahai, Khanyisela Moyo

Annotation:

Summary:
This volume counters one-sided dominant discursive representations of gender in human rights and transitional justice, and women’s place in the transformations of neoliberal human rights, and contributes a more balanced examination of how transitional justice and human rights institutions, and political institutions impact the lives and experiences of women. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the contributors to this volume theorize and historicize the place of women’s rights (and gender), situating it within contemporary country-specific political, legal, socio-cultural and global contexts. Chapters examine the progress and challenges facing women (and women’s groups) in transitioning countries: from Peru to Argentina, from Kenya to Sierra Leone, and from Bosnia to Sri Lanka, in a variety of contexts, attending especially to the relationships between local and global forces. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillan)

Table of Contents:

1. Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice

2. Feminism during Social and Political Repression in Egypt: Making or Breaking Resistance Through Legal Activism

3. Power, Prejudice and Transitional Constitution-Making In Kenya: The Gender of Law and Religious Politics in Reproductive Choice

4. Civil Society and the Regulation of Laws Against Gender Violence in Timor-Leste

5. Addressing Violence Against Women Through Legislative Reform In States Transitioning From The Arab Spring

6. Human Rights Frameworks and Women’s Rights In Post-Transitional Justice Sierra Leone

7. Engendering Justice: The Promotion of Women in Post-Conflict and Post-Transitional Criminal Justice Institutions

8. Justice and Reparations Policies in Peru and Argentine: Towards The De-legitimization of Sexual Violence

9. Women Between War Scylla and Nationalist Charybdis: Legal Interpretations of Sexual Violence in Countries of Former Yugoslavia.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Oceania Countries: Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Employment Creation, Corruption and Gender Equality 2011-2014

Citation:

Teti, Andrea, Pamela Abbott, and Francesco Cavatorta. 2017. “Employment Creation, Corruption and Gender Equality 2011-2014.” In The Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, 103-22. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Andrea Teti, Pamela Abbott, Francesco Cavatorta

Abstract:

This chapter shows that, as with the economy, by 2014 people’s hopes that their lives would improve and that governments would address their grievances had been dashed. Early optimism was replaced by concern that things were not getting better. Trust in government was low—albeit higher in the judiciary and the police and very high in the army—and corruption in both government and society generally was seen as pervasive. People did not think their government was effective on corruption, job creation or service delivery. Gender inequality is crucial—not least to achieve inclusive development—but conservative values continue to be widespread, especially in Egypt and Jordan, and while attitudes are more liberal in Tunisia they have become more conservative following the Uprisings.

Keywords: Arab Uprisings, corruption, trust, women's rights, unemployment, public services

Topics: Corruption, Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia

Year: 2017

The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management

Citation:

Rap, Edwin, and Martina Jaskolski. 2019. “The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 84–104.

Authors: Edwin Rap, Martina Jaskolski

Abstract:

This article links feminist political ecology with the academic debate about commoning by focusing on the gendered distribution of common pool resources, in particular land and water. The research is set in the context of a coastal land reclamation project in Egypt’s Nile Delta, in a region where conflicts over resources such as arable land and fresh water are intensifying. Drawing on recent literature on commoning, we analyse the conditions under which different groups of resource users are constrained or enabled to act together. The article presents three case studies of women who represent different groups using land and water resources along the same irrigation canal. Through the concepts of intersectionality, performativity, and gendered subjectivity, this article explores how these women negotiate access to land and water resources to sustain viable livelihoods. The case studies unpack how the intersection of gender, class, culture, and place produces gendered subject positions in everyday resource access, and how this intersectionality either facilitates or constrains commoning. We argue that commoning practices are culturally and spatially specific and shaped by pre-existing resource access. Such access is often unequally structured along categories of class and gender in land reclamation and irrigation projects. 

Keywords: common pool resources, commoning, Egypt, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality, Nile, performativity

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2019

Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje. 2000. Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Nadje Al-Ali

Annotation:

Summary:
A considerable literature has been devoted to the study of Islamic activism. By contrast, Nadje Al-Ali's book explores the anthropological and political significance of secular-oriented activism by focusing on the women's movement in Egypt. In so doing, it challenges stereotypical images of Arab women as passive victims and demonstrates how they fight for their rights and confront conservative forces. Al-Ali's book also takes issue with prevailing constructions of 'the West' and its perceived dichotomous relation to 'the East'. The argument is constructed around interviews which afford fascinating insights into the history of the women's movement in Egypt, notions about secularism and how Islamist constituencies have impacted on women's activism generally. The balance between the empirical and conceptual material is adeptly handled. The author frames her work in the context of current theoretical debates in Middle Eastern and post-colonial scholarship: while some of the ideas are complex, her lucid style means they are always comprehensible; the book will therefore appeal to students, as well as to scholars in the field. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)


Table of Contents:
Introduction

1. Up Against Conceptual Frameworks: Post-Orientalism, Occidentalism and Presentations of the Self

2. Contextualizing the Egyptian Women's Movement

3. Self and Generation: Formative Experiences of Egyptian Women Activists

4. Secularism: Challenging Neo-Orientalism and ‘His-Stories’

5. From Words to Deeds: Priorities and Projects of Contemporary Activists

6. A Mirror of Political Culture in Egypt: Divisions and Debates among Women Activists

Conclusion: ‘Standing on Shifting Ground’

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2000

Independent Study

Syllabus: 
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Year course was taught: 
2018

Mortgaging Women's Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment

Citation:

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

Author: Pamela Sparr

Annotation:

Summary:
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: Agriculture, 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

No Longer a Bargain: Women, Masculinity, and the Egyptian Uprising

Citation:

Hafez, Sherine. 2012. “No Longer a Bargain: Women, Masculinity, and the Egyptian Uprising.” American Ethnologist 39 (1): 37–42.

Author: Sherine Hafez

Abstract:

Although, according to eyewitness accounts, women made up 20 to 50 percent of the protesters in Tahrir Square, the events immediately following the Egyptian uprising revealed that women would not be part of the political deliberations between various contending parties and the Supreme Military Council in charge of the country. In this essay, I take a close look at the sociocultural dynamics behind the inclusion–dis-inclusion of women in the political sphere to question how this contradiction has, in recent years, characterized the nature of gender relations in Arab countries like Egypt. Multilayered, rapidly changing, and challenged patriarchal power lies at the very core of the uprising in Egypt. What the events of this uprising have revealed is that notions of masculinity undermined by a repressive regime have observably shifted the terms of the patriarchal bargain.

Keywords: Egypt's uprising, gender relations in the Middle East, masculinity, patriarchy, patriarchal bargain, state patriarchy, women and revolution

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2012

Pages

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