The Jaded Gender and Development Paradigm of Egypt

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Abstract

The people's solidarity in search for rights, dignity and justice in the days of the uprising against Mubarak's regime challenged the assumptions guiding the gender and development paradigm. Women who participated in their thousands trod very different paths from those engineered by gender and development policy advocates, about how to support women to engage politically. It highlighted more than ever, the limitations of previous approaches that supported an apolitical gender and development agenda in an authoritarian regime. This article argues that in post-revolutionary Egypt, gendered work is no longer the exclusive realm of development and is expressing itself differently, through political party activism and religious philanthropy charity. The extent to which a gender equality agenda will develop forcefully will depend on the nature of the state system, the extent to which there will be avenues for political engagement outside development, and the extent to which philanthropic organisations will assume centre stage in engaging with women's needs as religious subjects.

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