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Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952$
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Arthur Goldschmidt and Amy J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9789774249006

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774249006.001.0001

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Empowering Women, Engendering Change

Empowering Women, Engendering Change

Aziza Hussein and Social Reform in Egypt1

(p.249) 9 Empowering Women, Engendering Change
Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952

Amy J. Johnson

Scott David Mcintosh

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter challenges the view of the pre-1952 period as bereft of meaningful governmental reform programs, while revealing women's social reform activism in Egypt during these years to have transcended upper class urban issues. In its revisionist approach based on painstaking research and extensive interviews with Aziza Hussein and her colleagues, this chapter examines the Cairo Women's Club under Aziza Hussein, which founded the country's first rural day-care center and spearheaded literacy campaigns, family planning, and rural industry. As against the notion of decaying social organs and an unconcerned government, the project involved active cooperation between the private and public sector, while setting a new standard for women's activism by empowering rural women as development agents. Not only does this chapter expose readers to Aziza Hussein as a pioneer in Egyptian social reform, but it also shows how these activities set a pattern of social reform followed after 1952.

Keywords:   social reform activism, Aziza Hussein, Cairo Women's Club, literacy campaigns, family planning, rural industry

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