16 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2009
Date Written: June 25, 2009
What enables the political participation of women in Egypt and Morocco outside of regime-sponsored political behavior? Women in Egypt and Morocco are outliers in terms of formal and informal challenges to the status quo. Wide variation exists in terms of participants both within country and in a regional comparison of women and political behavior. Current data is lacking as to their motivations and how the women are mobilized. Theories developed within the United States to explain individual-level participation can not access the variance in challenges made by women as well as the issues and gendered ideologies under which women act. I seek to better explicate the mechanisms by which women take part in politics in Near East. Finding the present theories inadequate to explain the political participation of women in these two cases, I build a theory that privileges mobilization strategies, gendered political openings and the role of women within society. By using existing survey data, intensive interviews and an original survey, I will provide data to help answer the larger question of what leads women to take a more active role in politics globally.
Keywords: women, Egypt, political participation, Morocco, demonstrations, protest
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