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North Africa

Cutting across Imperial Feminisms toward Transnational Feminist Solidarities

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Islamic and Secular Women’s Activism and Discourses in Post-Uprising Tunisia

Citation:

Muhanna, Aitemad. 2015. “Islamic and Secular Women’s Activism and Discourses in Post-Uprising Tunisia.” 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: Aitemad Muhanna

Topics: Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Tunisia

Year: 2015

Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance

Citation:

Mediha Elnaas, Sahar and Nicola Pratt. 2015. “Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance.” 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.

Authors: Sahar Mediha Elnaas, Nicola Pratt

Topics: Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2015

Reconstructing Gender in Post-Revolutionary Egypt

Citation:

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

Citation:

ALl, Fatuma Ahmed, and Hannah Muthoni Macharia. 2013. “Women, Youth, and the Egyptian Arab Spring.” Peace Review 25 (3): 359–66.
doi:10.1080/10402659.2013.816557.

 

Author: Fatuma Ahmed Ali

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Annotation:

Synopsis:
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

Citation:

Amar, Paul. 2013. The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism. Durham: Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-security-archipelago.

Author: Paul Amar

Abstract:

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

Transnational Abductions and Transnational Responsibilities? The Politics of ‘protecting’ Female Muslim Refugees Abducted from Spain

Citation:

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena. 2014. “Transnational Abductions and Transnational Responsibilities? The Politics of ‘protecting’ Female Muslim Refugees Abducted from Spain.” Gender, Place & Culture 21 (2): 174–94. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2013.769427.

 

Author: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Abstract:

This article examines evolving gendered protection narratives surrounding four ‘abduction’ cases in which Sahrawi refugee girls and young women living in Spain were ‘abducted’ by their birth-families and forcibly returned to the Algerian-based Sahrawi refugee camps between 2002 and 2009. By exploring Spanish state and civil society responses to these girls' ‘abductions’, I argue that there has been a major shift in the ways in which legitimate responsibility and authority over Sahrawi refugee women as Muslim female forced migrants have been conceptualised and invoked by Spanish actors. I therefore assess the gendered nature of competing claims of responsibility to ‘protect’ Sahrawi refugee women both within and outside of the Algerian-based Sahrawi refugee camps, exploring the motivations and implications of different actors' in/actions towards these girls and women. With Polisario claiming to represent and act as a liberal ‘state’ committed to protecting the rights of its ‘refugee-citizens’ in some instances, while denying politico-legal responsibility in others, the question of ‘who’ or ‘what’ claims the legitimate authority to ‘protect’ Sahrawi refugee women and girls is thus accentuated by such cases. By exploring shifts in Spanish public and political discourses of responsibility over the past decade on the one hand, and the accentuation of competing discourses as presented by Spanish, Polisario and Algerian actors on the other, this article highlights the complex nature and implications of the ‘intimate’ Spanish civil society networks that ensure the physical and political survival of the Sahrawi refugee camps. Ultimately, I argue that Sahrawi girls and women have become hypervisible in Spain, being conceptualised as women who ‘belong’ to the Spanish nation that in turn has a responsibility to ‘protect’ ‘our’ Sahrawi women from ‘their’ culture.

Keywords: abduction, contested sovereignty, orientalism, protection scenarios, refugee women, Sahrawi refugees

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Algeria, Spain

Year: 2014

Bodies That Protest: The Girl in the Blue Bra, Sexuality, and State Violence in Revolutionary Egypt

Citation:

Hafez, Sherine. 2014. “Bodies That Protest: The Girl in the Blue Bra, Sexuality, and State Violence in Revolutionary Egypt.” Signs 40 (1): 20–28. doi:10.1086/676977.

 

Author: Sherine Hafez

Abstract:

In what became a synecdoche for state violence and the abuse of military power during the Egyptian Revolution of January 25, 2011, the image of an unconscious young female body, stripped down to her jeans and bra and being dragged by her limp arms and viciously kicked in the abdomen by a soldier’s heavy boot, almost instantaneously occupied public attention. While the case of the “girl in the blue bra,” as she later became known (her real identity remains undisclosed), starkly illuminates the grim ways women’s bodies become sites of social control and moral engineering, this is not a new phenomenon. Women’s bodies in the Middle Eastern region have often been viewed as the terrain of cultural, moral, and political subjection. By going beyond viewing the corporeal form as simply a repository of disciplinary power, this paper proposes to understand the body as a fluid and culturally mediated form with the potential to be continually disruptive, destabilizing, and transformative.

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Egypt

Year: 2014

Women’s Empowerment and Generalized Anxiety in Minya, Egypt

Citation:

Yount, Kathryn M., Sally Dijkerman, Sarah Zureick-Brown, and Kristin E. VanderEnde. 2014. “Women’s Empowerment and Generalized Anxiety in Minya, Egypt.” Social Science & Medicine 106 (April): 185–93. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.022.

Authors: Kathryn M. Yount, Sally Dijkerman, Sarah Zureick-Brown, Kristin E. VanderEnde

Abstract:

Gender disparities in mental health are global, with women experiencing higher rates than men of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and attempted suicide. Women's low social status may partly explain these disparities, yet evidence from Arab and Middle Eastern settings is limited. We assessed whether women's empowerment – or acquisition of enabling resources, and in turn, enhanced agency – was associated with their lower generalized anxiety. For 539 ever-married women 22–65 years who participated in the 2005 Egypt Demographic Health Survey (EDHS) and a 2012 follow-up survey in rural Minya, we estimated linear reduced-form and mediation regression models to assess the associations of women's premarital enabling resources with their generalized anxiety in 2012, overall and through measures of their marital agency in 2005. Women's higher schooling attainment, premarital economic activity, later age at first marriage, and greater proximity to natal (or birth) family had significant, adjusted associations with lower generalized anxiety. Measures of women's agency in marriage had mixed associations with generalized anxiety, but their inclusion modestly reduced the coefficients for premarital resources. Parallel qualitative findings confirmed nuanced associations between women's exclusive decision-making and their mental health. Efforts to enhance women's education and premarital economic activity might be combined with efforts to delay first marriage and ensure women's extra-marital social support to maximize their empowerment and its mental-health benefits.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, North Africa Countries: Egypt

Year: 2014

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