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Women and the Egyptian Revolution
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Book description

Since the fall of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, female activists have faced the problem of how to transform the spirit of the uprising into long-lasting reform of the political and social landscape. In Women and the Egyptian Revolution, Nermin Allam tells the story of the 2011 uprising from the perspective of the women who participated, based on extensive interviews with female protestors and activists. The book offers an oral history of women's engagement in this important historical juncture; it situates women's experience within the socio-economic flows, political trajectories, and historical contours of Egypt. Allam develops a critical vocabulary that captures women's activism and agency by looking both backwards to Egypt's gender history and forwards to the outcomes and future possibilities for women's rights. An important contribution to the under-researched topic of women's engagement in political struggles in the Middle East and North Africa, this book will have a wide-ranging impact on its field and beyond.


‘Going against the grain, Nermin Allam's study of the 2011 revolution/uprising resists the dominant theoretical urge to construct it as an unfolding narrative of failure. Instead, she engages her readers in an original discussion of gender as part of contentious politics shaped by national and international media contexts and constructions as well as collective action frames that add theoretical and conceptual insights to the field of Middle East political science. With a large number of interviews of female activists, NGO leaders, state officials and and public figures, this study provides a new threshold for the discussion of gender and the opportunity structures of social movements and conventional politics. One of its most important findings is that the uprising expanded political opportunities for women to participate as citizens, but not to voice and serve their gender specific demands. This challenges one of the key assumption that activist women have about how political engagement serves their gender interests. Another equally important finding concerns the political implications of disappointment, self reflexivity and hope as complex political emotions that outline new venues for post uprising politics and activism.'

Mervat F. Hatem - Howard University, Washington, DC

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  • 1 - Women and Egypt’s National Struggles
    pp 26-47
  • 3 - Trenching Dissent: Women’s Collective Action Frame in the Uprising*
    pp 71-93


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