Vargha Dana


After a four-year legal battle in 2009, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court granted Egyptian Baha’is the right to obtain national identification cards. However, members of this minority group have continued to struggle to access basic rights of citizenship. Non-recognition of Baha’i marriage is the chief source of disenfranchisement of Baha’is in Egypt. This study argues that marriage as the legal instrument of creating a family, can act as the precursor to citizenship. By sanctioning certain types of marriages and prohibiting others, the state translates its specific ideology into creation of politicized legal entities known as citizens. The state’s aspiration is to create an ideal nation by embracing “normal” families that can produce ideal citizens. As a vehicle for public policy, marriage has the capacity to act as a powerful hegemonic tool that shapes the society on the bases of class, gender, race, and religion. The family is fundamentally a legal entity shaped and sanctioned by the state and it is the site of production and reproduction of citizenship.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2014

First Advisor

Beckett, Jason

Committee Member 1

tarajan, Usha

Committee Member 2

Sayed, Hani


61 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Family partnership -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Domestic relations -- Egypt.


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