Women Are Also Part of This Revolution

Hania Sholkamy

in Arab Spring in Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9789774165368
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781617971365 | DOI:
Women Are Also Part of This Revolution

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This chapter provides a critical review of the roles of women in the Egyptian revolution and of the place of feminism in Egyptian politics. On the one hand the imagery of the revolutionary moment is replete with scenes and signs of gender justice, camaraderie, equality, mutual respect and liberation. The transformative event that we call Tahrir Square did change the gender imbalance! But on the other hand the post revolutionary space is disturbingly similar to the way we women used to be. The chapter reviews the recent history of gender justice gains, state sponsored feminism and attempts to challenge formal politics and formal feminism and presents an interpretation of what happened in Egypt, why the roar of revolution only yielded an ripple of modest gains for women and what is needed for a way forward for women as social and political partners in the future. Key to this argument is a distinction between personal and formal freedom and rights. The case of Egypt shows a dis-juncture between the rights and equality enjoyed by powerful women in the public domain and their own inability to realise equality for themselves and for other women in the realm of the personal and the private.

Keywords: Women's empowerment; gender; voice; political participation

Chapter.  9123 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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