Laura Bier 's Revolutionary Womanhood : Feminisms, Modernity And The State

1382 Words Nov 29th, 2016 6 Pages
Laura Bier 's Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminisms, Modernity and the State in Nasser 's Egypt is an account of state feminism during the Nasser Regime. The state begins with the dissolution of independent feminist organizations and blocking of any effort to keep an autonomous, politicized feminist movement alive. Inji Aflatun and Zaynab al-Ghazali prominent feminist activists at the time were taken into state custody and Duriyya Shafiq was placed under house arrest. Independent social and charitable women 's organizations were dissolved and their activities absorbed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Bier does not disagree with these facts, but she does urge us to take a different view of Nasser 's state feminism. The urban middle classes benefitted from the reforms of the period and kept the feminist goals of the monarchy alive such as liberation, inclusion, participation, and citizenship. Bier argues that the state feminism of the revolutionary period has to be understood within the Nasser’s idea to modernize Egypt because the state regarded women as crucial to its plans for transforming Egypt into a modern nation state. In constructing her arguments, Bier makes a virtue of the scarcity of official documents from this period in the national archives by relying on largely unexploited sources such as memoirs by leading feminists, novels, films, press articles and conference proceedings. She interweaves these sources to shed light on an impressive range of issues, from…

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