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Countering Cultural Extremism: Women's Empowerment in the Arab-Islamic World - Case Study: Egypt


Taking Egypt as an ideal-typical Muslim majority country, the paper addresses the position of women in Arab-Islamic culture and identifies the challenges to accept women’s rights and gender equality as progressive values. The exclusion of Egyptian women has been spearheaded by political Islamist groups and Islamic institutions to reinforce the patriarchal system, leading the society to normalize aggression and violent acts against women. From that perspective, it is necessary to: 1) understand the recent Egyptian cultural transformation from secular position to Islamizing the societal views of women in 1970s; 2) explain the complexity of Egypt’s contemporary hybrid mainstream culture that combines Islam with Arab-tribal norms; and 3) examine the influence of Egyptian liberal voices.

The paper will contribute to understanding about cultural extremism in Egypt as a reflective model of the Arab country and the challenges of empowering women. In the end, I suggest a set of policies/recommendations to effectively counter that aspect of extremism which is critically influencing all efforts initiated by local and international actors to prevent and counter extremism and violent extremism.


Women's rights, Extremism, Culture, Political Islam



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