This research analyzed the portrayal of women empowerment in the Egyptian cinema between the years 2001-2011. This specific period was chosen as this is when the Egyptian cinema started to tackle women's issues in line with real-life improvements in Egyptian women's status quo; such as the issue of Khul law, the establishment of the National Council for Women and the right to pass on the Egyptian nationality to their children to the researcher conducted a content analysis of 20 movies that were produced during the time span covered in the study and that have discussed woman's question or have presented women through different frames. Moreover, in-depth interviews with cinema practitioners, scholars and academics were conducted in order to apply triangulation of data. A list of 52 female characters were coded in order to explore the different empowerment/disempowerment frames women get presented through in the Egyptian cinema as well as to gauge any differences in women portrayals than those concluded in previous studies. Also, the researcher aimed to analyze depictions of single, divorced and widowed women and whether the presence of female filmmakers in movies' production teams will affect representations of women empowerment. The study applied the concept of framing and Freire's theory of empowerment in order to examine the research's questions and hypotheses. The findings of this study revealed that portrayals of women's social class, job status, nature of job status, level of education and character traits have improved as compared to previous studies of movies that were produced in the nineties. Meanwhile, portrayals of women's background, age and relationship status have remained negative. Furthermore, single, divorced and widowed women are stereotyped in the Egyptian cinema. Female and male filmmakers of the movies studied in this research had similar representations of women empowerment. Last but not least, movies produced in the 21st century tackled issues of great importance to the woman's question such as female autonomy, female sexuality issues and female independency. Females are also depicted through new empowerment frames as well as disempowerment ones.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

Degree Name

MA in Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Hamdy, Naila

Committee Member 1

Abou Oaf, Mervat

Committee Member 2

Allam, Rasha

Document Type



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