Egyptian women and empowerment: A cultural perspective

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Psychology Department

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Research Article

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Women's Studies International Forum

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This qualitative study used a theory-building approach to examine the process of empowerment as perceived by selected Egyptian women. Two theoretical perspectives on empowerment were integrated to describe multiple case studies of Egyptian women, and these multiple case studies were then used to modify and refine this theoretical integration. Specifically, this study utilized the empowerment principles of Paulo Freire, who argued that individuals could be empowered by acquiring knowledge about the conditions that oppress them. The study also used empowerment principles from influential community psychologists, who defined empowerment as the ability of individuals to change the conditions that oppress them by having a psychological sense of personal control and a concern for having a social influence, political power, and legal rights. Cultural and familial contexts of Egyptian women deeply informed the understanding of this process and helped modify the initial theoretical integration. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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