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                                                                          DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2004 International Development Options

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Volume Three                                                                    Winter 2003-Spring 2004                                                       Numbers 3-4.

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  CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS: A CASE STUDY ON CAIRO ISLAMIC WOMEN’S

  AND SECULAR FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS

 

  Wanda C. Krause

  Graduate School of Historical, Political,

  and Administrative and Sociological Studies      

  University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom

  W.Krause@ex.ac.uk

                                                                    

  Published online: February 10, 2017

  ABSTRACT

 

This article examines the activism of Islamic women’s and secular femi­nist private voluntary organizations in Cairo. This research questions if these organizations serve to expand civil society in Egypt and if any marked difference can be ascertained in their political effects. Through fieldwork it attempts to bring in a better under­standing of the activities of these women’s associations, which have been over­looked as either irrelevant or uncivil enough to be included in main­stream scholarship. The article proves that both organizations foster not only prac­tices, but values that are inherently dem­ocratic. Participating in these civil society organizations these women cultivate experiences that advance pluralis­tic and cooperative ways of decision-making. They foster “civility”, which encom­passes tolerance, mutual respect, trust, reci­procity, and cooperation. Significant is, moreover, the “empowering” results of such activisms. It also demonstrates that these women’s organizations exhibit a wide range of activities that serve to expand civil society in Egypt, albeit through a slow process. Moreover, there is no differen­ce between the two organizational types in terms of their political importance to the expansion of civil society.

 

 

IDO        ISSN: 1093-8281                 Copyright © 2017 International Development Options

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