This thesis investigates the gender dynamics in the Egyptian 25th of January 2011 revolution. It explores the centrality of gender relations in different configurations of the Egyptian revolution. It argues, that in order to provide satisfying analysis of the different events between January 2011 and April 2013, the period that the research focuses on, it is crucial to analyze gender relations that played a critical role in the toppling of the system "Iskat-El-Nizam". The importance of this thesis stems from the fact that it maps most of the struggles, mobilization and terrains that woman activists chose or had to go through since the ousting of Mubarak until the moments of writings. It argues that the revolution was not concluded by the inauguration of a new president in June 2012, and that different paths are still being tested. After exploring the gender component during the 18 days of Tahrir, it turns its focus to the main camps and trajectories that women activists have taken, which includes their concerns about writing the new constitution of Egypt, in addition, to the struggle against the systemic violence and sexual assaults against female protesters. It also provides a panoramic overview of many of the new women groups and movements that have emerged in the post-Mubarak period, by analyzing their approaches to engagement, mobilization, new tendencies, and strategies adopted to cope with struggles they face with respect to the gender discourse, with particular focus on the debates aimed to blame, victimize and marginalize women. It also paves the way for future research on key debates and landmarks that have been spotted in this thesis in order to investigate how women activism in Egypt will develop in the future.


Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2013

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Han

Committee Member 2

Rizzo, Helen


112 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Women's rights -- Egypt -- 21st century.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Women -- Egypt -- Social conditions.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


I dedicate this thesis to my mother, Lamia, for being the woman who inspires me, and for being the source of happiness, security and love in my life. Without her I would never be the person who I am, and whom I proud of. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Marti Rieker, my supervisor, not only for her incompatible support since my first day in graduate school, but for being a role model for me as a person who is smart, modest, respectable, and humane. I am also immensely thankful to Dr. Han Sabea, a great professor who I am extremely indebted by her insightful contributions that helped me revise my thesis; moreover, for being a very tender person who overwhelmed me with love and coffee. For these three great women who changed my life, whom I will never forget… I love you from the bottom of my heart and soul.