The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt

Ghada Hashem Talhami

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"A brilliant analysis. . . . Essential reading for those interested in modern Egypt, Islamic resurgence, and feminism in the developing world."--Tamara Sonn, University of South Florida

Egypt was the first country in the Middle East to experience the full impact of Westernization and the accompanying clash of ideologies. In the 1990s, few adhere to the notion that secular and Western-oriented regimes have advanced the case for women there. This study is the first to examine the feminist issue in the context of Egypt's democratic crisis, faltering economy, and deteriorating sectarian relations. Using Arabic sources, Ghada Talhami pursues an authentic, indigenous analysis and produces a cultural study bridging politics, religion, anthropology, and sociology.
Talhami examines the deliberate intensification of Islamic identity and its ramifications both for Muslim women and for Egypt's Coptic Christian minority. She pays careful attention to the Coptic mobilization of the '50s, '60s, and '70s, and their clashes with Muslims, which led to Islamic redefinition of women's rights and looks especially at the secular feminist reforms initiated by Jihan Sadat, the widow of Anwar Sadat.

Ghada Hashem Talhami is D. K. Pearsons Professor of Politics and chair of international relations at Lake Forest College, Illinois, and author of Suakin and Massawa under Egyptian Rule, 1865-1885 and Palestine and Egyptian National Identity.

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"Talhami's work represents a welcome and needed perspective on a period of dramatic political and ideological change, particularly with regard to women."--Choice

"contains much useful information and is an invaluable corrective for those who consider the women's movement in Egypt to be entirely secular." "Books like Ghada Hashem Talhami's The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt and Cynthia Nelson's poignant biographical study Doria Shafik, Egyptian Feminist make clear that there are many women living lives of quiet desperation."
--Digest of Middle East Studies

"Talhami presents significant data regarding the political, societal and religious forces that have promoted as well as hindered women's progress and underscores women's vital roles in secular and Islamic mobilization. At the same time, the highlights the failures of both secular and religious forces to advance women's roles in any sustainable manner."--Association for Middle East Women's Studies Review
--Association for Middle East Women's Studies Review

"The book is worthwhile reading for those who study the relationship between gender and politics, gender issues and women's activism in predominantly Muslim societies, and political Islamic movements.-- British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
--British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

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