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Four women of Egypt: memory, geopolitics and the Egyptian women's movement during the Nasser and Sadat eras

Salem, Sarah Mamdouh Ibrahim ORCID: 0000-0002-7872-5613 (2017) Four women of Egypt: memory, geopolitics and the Egyptian women's movement during the Nasser and Sadat eras. Hypatia, 32 (3). pp. 593-608. ISSN 0887-5367

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Identification Number: 10.1111/hypa.12344


This article addresses the Egyptian women's movement of the 1950s–1970s through a recent film entitled Four Women of Egypt, which focuses on the lives of four prominent Egyptian women active in the movement during that period. Using the concept of political memory, the article traces some of the major debates within the women's movement throughout this era. By focusing on the ways in which these women conceptualize the geopolitical, I show that the twin concepts of imperialism and capitalism were central to the ways in which they understood gender. The result was a complex understanding of how gender intersected with Egypt's position within a broader global system of imperial capitalism. Following the transition in the 1970s to an open‐market economy, the women's movement shifted away from critiques of imperialism and capitalism. This shift can be understood Primarily in terms of geopolitics, specifically the rise of neoliberalism in Egypt. New neoliberal policies had dramatic effects on the women's movement, showing why both the rise and fall of the movement must be contextualized geopolitically and transnationally.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © Hypatia, Inc.
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 11:24
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 16:11

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