Imagining the Political : Young Women, Participation and the Crafting of the Political in Egypt

IDRC's Women's Rights and Citizenship (WRC) program initiative is supporting a body of comparative research on whether and how democracy and governance institutions are responding to women's rights and gender equality. This project will investigate issues and challenges surrounding women's participation in political decision-making, the judiciary and the public sector in Egypt. And, it will explore ways in which state institutions, political parties, civil society and kin-based social organizations can be influenced to advance women's choices and entitlements as citizens, through increased representation among other things.

Researchers will seek a fuller understanding of the sites of political engagement that young women consider significant and how their interpretation of the political relates to their everyday practices. They will identify the regulatory frameworks that shape their ideas and political participation. And, they will describe the emerging community and social networks being forged by young women.

This "second generation" project also hopes to contribute to the theory of women's rights and citizenship by challenging the centrality of gender quotas and formal political participation as the main framework for effecting change and promoting gender justice. At the same time, the project will endeavor to shift the terms of the debate - especially about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - away from the language of "deficits" and "dichotomies."

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

End Date

Friday, May 23, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

de Boer, John

Total funding

CA$ 161,600


Egypt, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Hanan Sabea

Project Leader

Martina Rieker


American University in Cairo

Institution Country


Institution Website