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Soft ForceWomen in Egypt's Islamic Awakening$
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Ellen Anne McLarney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158488

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158488.001.0001

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The Islamic Homeland

The Islamic Homeland

Iman Mustafa on Women's Work

(p.180) Chapter 5 The Islamic Homeland
Soft Force

Ellen Anne McLarney

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the proliferation of debates over women's work—tangled dialectics among development experts, feminists, academics, politicians, Marxists, Azharis, Islamists, and journalists like Iman Muhammad Mustafa. Mustafa charts a specific chronological timeline of these debates, from 1974 to 1989, a period of intense economic and political liberalization in Egypt. In 1989, in the midst of economic crisis and Egypt's contentious negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, Mustafa published a ten-part series of articles in the mainstream economic journal al-Ahram al-Iqtisadi criticizing “the working woman.” The articles identified women as a great, untapped resource of human capital in Egypt. Using the statistics, charts, arguments, and language of development reports, Mustafa critiqued Western, secular, feminist valorization of remunerated labor through a celebration of the economic and social worth of women's work in the household economy.

Keywords:   Muslim women, women's work, Iman Muhammad Mustafa, human capital

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