Open Journal Systems
Women's Organizations in Egypt: Emerging Women's Movements or Social Clubs?
A close look at the content and context of women's organizations in contemporary Egypt sheds light on the ambiguities and contradictions existent in contemporary Egypt. On the one hand, women's organizations began to flourish since the 1985 UN women's conference in Nairobi, and particularly during the preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development (lCPD) held in Cairo in 1994. During this time there was increasing pressure on the Egyptian government by international organizations and western governments to adhere to UN conventions concerning women's rights. At the same time, a huge number of international donor organizations, NGOs and government bodies provided funds and resources for specific projects and campaigns related to women's issues. However, the increased confrontation with Islamists has pressured the Mubarak regime to legislate and implement more conservative laws and policies towards women and to diminish its support for women's political representation. It is no surprise then that women's organizations have been caught in the midst of contradictory state policies towards women and towards Egypt's growing NGO sector.
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