This book explores the concept of citizenship in Egypt and identifies the forces that have institutionally controlled women since the turn of the twentieth century. How is citizenship defined in Egypt and by whom? Selma Botman seeks to understand how political culture in Egypt has developed, how women have asserted themselves in public life, and how they have been limited and sometimes excluded from the political process. Botman demonstrates that women's social inferiority derives from law and custom, but points out that slow industrialization contributes to inequality in the workplace. She considers three areas of interaction in Egypt: the social organization of power, the ideological and institutional means of controlling women sexually, and the sexual division of labor. These topics highlight the complexity and interdependence of men's and women's activities and offer insight into the nature of political organization, the sources of political power, and the implications of hierarchical domination. In this decade-by-decade survey beginning with Egypt's independence from British rule, Botman shows how women's identity was constrained by social and political patriarchal structures. Even during Egypt's period of nation-building, when women won the right to vote, the responsibilities of housekeeping and child-rearing were still the strict province of women. Tracing an entrenched system of male hegemony-in the household and in the state-this study illustrates the changing yet ever restricted role of women in Egyptian society. Up to the present rise of Islamic fundamentalism, where gender inequality continues, Botman looks to the movement for Egyptian democratization as the best hope for gender equality in Egypt.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Series:||History and Society of the Modern Middle East Series|
|Product dimensions:||0.37(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Selma Botman is vice president for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of The Rise of Egyptian Communism: 1939-1970 and From Independence to Revolution: Egypt, 1922-1952.
Table of Contents
1. Engendering Citizenship
2. Liberalism, Nationalism, and Gender
3. Women and the State Durgaing the Nasir Years
4. Gender Asymmetry Durgaing the Regimes of Anwar Sadat and Husni Mubarak
5. Middle Eastern Patriarchy
What People are Saying About This
The challenge to achieve democracy with full human rights for women as citizens in Egypt and elsewhere, by extension, is the greatest strength of Botman's work. She argues that democratic transformation must occur at every level of society from the family to the state, which can explain why Egypt's considerable feminist activism has yielded uneven results.