Feminism In Egyptian Women

797 Words 4 Pages
Similar to Iran, Egyptian women’s movements have dealt with oscillating political and religious regimes. Many trace the origins of the Egyptian feminist movement to the 1919 Revolution in which women participated in rallies for independence from the British. The Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) was founded shortly after in 1923 by Huda Sha’arawi. The EFU led the literary movement in which women published articles and wrote in magazines (Ramdani 41). In addition to fostering a literary culture in Egypt’s upper-class, household matters were at the forefront of the EFU’s agenda. Al-Ali notes the EFU’s activism “was characterized by dynamic interaction and tensions between women’s feminism and nationalism” (5). Women’s movements throughout Egypt’s …show more content…
Kandiyoti proposes, “the post-independence trajectories of modern states and variations in the deployment of Islam in relation to different nationalisms, state ideologies and oppositional social movements are of central relevance to an understanding of the condition of women” (2). Women’s representation in the public sphere is thus linked to state-building processes and transformations. Over the past century as Egypt has struggled with different economic and political systems, so too have women struggled to fight for their private rights as well as public rights. Despite the “state-building, liberal, socialist, and infitah capitalist periods,” women have maintained subordination in a patriarchal society (Badran in Kandiyoti …show more content…
Women’s organizations cooperated with the United Nations and formed NGOs for causes such as poverty alleviation, family rights, and violence against women. These movements were contrastingly modern to traditional Islamist movements in their notions including “conjugal love and the nuclear family as ideal” (Al-Ali 3). Abu-Lughod expands that modernist movements prompted “modes of domesticity” marketed by the West (261). Divorce and custody rights, as well as inter-partner violence were key to these feminist movements. Globalization and increased media led to the dissemination of Western feminist ideals to upper-class feminist actors in Egypt. However, Egyptian feminists did not simply reproduce Western feminism, but rather enmeshed it within their societies. The “woman question” in Egypt was thus formulated by Egyptian women themselves as political

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