No Longer a Bargain: Women, masculinity, and the Egyptian uprising

by Sherine Hafez

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By Sherine Hafez Although, according to eyewitness accounts, women made up 20 to 50 percent of the protestors in Tahrir Square, the events immediately following the Egyptian uprising revealed that women would not be part of the political deliberations between various contending parties and the Supreme Military Council in charge of the country. In this essay, I take a close look at the sociocultural dynamics behind the inclusion–dis-inclusion of women in the political sphere to question how this contradiction has, in recent years, characterized the nature of gender relations in Arab countries like Egypt. Multilayered, rapidly changing, and challenged patriarchal power lies at the very core of the uprising in Egypt. What the events of this uprising have revealed is that notions of masculinity undermined by a repressive regime have observably shifted the terms of the patriarchal bargain. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2011.01344.x/abstract

IX. Weapons of a peaceful revolution: cooperation.  Photo by Samuli Schielke.
IX. Weapons of a peaceful revolution: cooperation. Photo by Samuli Schielke.