Governance and Politics
Introduction: Egyptian women, revolution, and protest culture
This special issue comes at a time when the Egyptian nation is facing deep divisions
about the notion and definition of revolution. The articles here aim to look at the
2011 revolution and the central role of women within it from a critical perspective.
Our objective is not to glorify the revolution or inflate the role of Egyptian women
within its parameters, but to analyse and critique both the achievements and setbacks of this revolution and the contributions of various strata of women to this revolutionary process. Women’s participation is part of a broader picture and needs to
be theorised as an essential aspect of the ongoing struggle for freedom and social
justice, not in isolation of it. The reader will soon realise that the authors in this
issue, perhaps, agree on one important element of the 2011 revolution: the struggle
is ongoing, and the revolutionary process is still being shaped and recreated. Thus, I
argue in this introduction that the story of the Egyptian Revolution still resists any
kind of closure. Indeed, as political events continue to unfold, the years to come
will no doubt witness an expansion of the political and cultural archive of the Arab
uprisings, accompanied by much academic work on their meaning and significance.
Women’s roles and contributions need to occupy a central position in these academic analyses.
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