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How does civil conflict influence gender equality? A case study of the Egyptian Revolution 2011-2013

Journal article
Authors Amy C Alexander
R. Apell
Published in International Review of Sociology-Revue Internationale De Sociologie
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 529-545
ISSN 0390-6701
Publication year 2016
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Pages 529-545
Language en
Keywords Conflict, gender equality, women's movements, Egypt, ARMED CONFLICT, WOMEN, ARAB, POLITICS
Subject categories Gender Studies, Political Science


Analyzing the changes to gender equality in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, this manuscript evaluates whether civil conflict creates new openings for women's empowerment. Recently, the literature has considered civil conflict a potentially powerful, transformative force in women's social and political inclusion. Given Egypt's comparatively low performance in gender equality achievements and policies, the 2011 Revolution creates a critical opportunity to evaluate the transformative power of conflict. The analysis shows that the Egyptian revolution was transformative of legislation on behalf of women's physical security; women saw gains emerge in this area of legislation from processes connected to the revolution. Pre and post-test, qualitative and quantitative evidence suggest that the key mechanism through which such transformation occurred was the strengthening of the local women's movement. This is demonstrated through a critical analysis of the various mechanisms of change highlighted in the growing literature on conflict and gender equality. However, the analysis also reveals that the lack of women's formal representation and the seizure of power by Islamic forces contributed to setbacks that inhibited further-reaching change during the transition.

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