Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Egyptian State Feminism on the Silver Screen: The Depiction of the "New Women" in Nasserist Films (1954-1967)

This thesis looks into the depiction of women in Egyptian films during the 1950s and 60s and argues that the Nasser regime created a set of policies within “state feminism” in order to alter the image of women in Egypt. Such policies included  women’s free access to higher education in 1957 and their
integration and increased numbers into the work force. The state policies aimed at creating the “New Woman" who was imagined as modern, educated and politically conscious. The policies had an affect on the silver screen yet the author argues that films can highlight the incomplete penetration of state policies into Egyptian society and  the resistance to social change.

By examining four Egyptian films in deepth; Mother of The Bride (1963), A Film For Men Only (1964), A Diary of a Student (1962) and The Empty Pillow (1957), the author invstigates the extent to which the image of the “New Woman” applied to women's realities on the ground framed by tradition, gender-based
discrimination in the work force and family conservatism.

Maro Youssef
IMES Capstone Paper Series
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