After decades of male supremacy, it is not surprising to find that social institutions, including the government and the legal system, have a role in maintaining and reproducing the established order of domination. This study seeks to understand the relationship of law to domination. It argues that law serves the dominant society in two ways. The first is that law legitimates power of the established order, relations of domination, and itself. This happens when the practice of law reinforces the established order of domination while maintaining its own principle of fairness. This means that law proclaims a deceitful image of law for all, while in actuality it sustains the unequal distribution of social power. The society, including both powerful and powerless classes, accepts the neutrality and objectivity of law and through this, law legitimates itself and maintains the structure. The second is that law contributes to the reproduction of the established order of domination. In this approach, law is a set of rules, developed throughout history, which assign to each member his/her position in society, whether it is dominant or submissive. This law is not an external force. Rather it is an internal force that employs certain social groups to reinforce the prevailing social norms. The influence of such law educates men into masters of society and women into slaves of the masters. This happens when law reflects the male dominant point of view in its content. Based on these arguments, this study uses the Egyptian sexual harassment law as an example of how law maintains and reproduces the established order of domination. It argues that Egyptian law serves men, first, by legitimating power of the social structure that subordinates women to men and second, by constructing subjects and turning them into dominant male and submissive female in accordance with their social status.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2014

First Advisor

Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 1

Terrell, Jennifer

Committee Member 2

Lorite, Alejandro


45 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Sexual harassment -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Sexual harassment -- Law and legislation -- Egypt.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


It is no exaggeration to say that this study would not have been written without the support of my supervisor, Professor Hani Sayed, who encouraged me through the hardest times and provided me with his time and effort to transform my simple words into visions. I really cannot thank him enough for all that he has done for me. Many people have encouraged me throughout this hard process and deserve special mention and thanks. I would like to deeply thank the following loved ones and friends. To my father, my source of strength, who encouraged my dream as a child to stand for my rights and who spent his time, effort, and love to make me the person I am today. To my mother, whom I am honored to have in my life, for being the best woman I will ever know, and who believed in my power to change the world and made me pursue my dreams. To my aunt, the woman who was able to overcome every obstacle through strength and a big heart full of care and who taught me how to precious myself. To my sisters, my best friends, my undercover guards, my source of encouragement. Without their love and understanding, I could not have survived throughout this process. To Maha and Mayada, my journey companions, who have added so much to my life.