Hatem, Mervat. "Economic and Political Liberation in Egypt.."

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLC94H3
Professor
Rebecca Kingston
Semester
Winter

Description
Hatem Mervat Economic and Political Liberation in Egypt and the Demise of State FeminismIn the late1950s and the1960s an Egyptian welfare stateA system whereby the government undertakes to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens esp those in financial or social need was developed to provide the economicbasis ofa new socialcontract between the Nasser regime and itskeyclassallies o For Egyptian women who were scorned by the pre1952 states the new welfare stateoffered explicitcommitment topublicequality for womenThe adoption of the policies of economic and political liberalization by the regimes of Anwar Sadat and Husni Mubarak redefined womens relationship to the state and the role they were to play in societyo Policies developed to establish conservative social economic and political systems that were hostile to state activism and more particularly state support of womens equalityThe social and economic retreat of the state and the consequent demise of state feminism in the 1980s undermined the prospects of lowermiddle class and workingclass women Benefited a small group of bourgeois and uppermiddleclass women o The overall effect of these changes was to create so much economic ideological and social differences among Egyptian women that developing a single organisation or program for feminist action would be difficult and lack legitimacy because of conflicting ideas State Feminism as a strategy and the quest for womens liberationState feminism refers to ambitious that introduce important changes in the reproductive and productive roles of womenTerm coined by Scandinavian societies used to refer to government efforts to remove structural basis of gender inequality by making reproductive rights a publicnot privateconcern And by also employing increasing numbers of women in the sector o Scandinavian states provided example of how patriarchy as system of structural relationships used to subordinate women could be reversedThe social and economic retreat of the state represents a step backwards because it leads to a return to womens economic and social dependence on the patriarchal families and the markets fluctuating demand for womens labour o Bad because state attention to womens reproductive and productive concerns increases the public resources available to them and improves their options economically and politicallySf associated with the growth of both the state sector and the welfare states which utilize the labour and the skills of middle and workingclass women o The provision of employment education health and other social benefits to sizable sections of the female population also contributes to the progressive image of the stateState commitment to providing equality ofopportunity to all Egyptians was unequivocally stated in the 1956 constitution and were reaffirmed in the slightly revised one adopted in 1963
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