Breaking Down Stereotypes of Egyptian Women: Examining Traditional Private versus Western Influenced Public Gender Roles

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Robyn Black

Abstract

Western feminists are encouraging Woman’s Rights in Egypt. Stereotypes of Muslim women as passive and without agency are outdated. Access to Western education and gender ideology have opened up public roles for women in Egypt. Gender, class, and religion intersect to frame Egyptian women’s lives. Elite Egyptians are well-educated career women who participate as citizens and activists while poor women struggle to feed their families.  The social unrest in Egypt has turned Western feminists toward Egyptian Women’s Rights but the elite bias leads to conflicting goals and strategies. This literature review seeks to fill the gap in scholarship between Egyptian and Western feminists by helping them understand the traditional, and often stereotyped, gendered roles and expectations of Egyptian girls and women.

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