Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Krista Wiegand

Committee Member 1

Jacek Lubecki

Committee Member 2

Michelle Haberland


Islam oppresses women and has many restrictions on women’s participation in politics. Women have fewer rights under the Islamic Shari‘a (law). Is this true or not? Does Islam really exclude women from political participation? Are Islamists, who have their political agenda, supporting or oppressing women? Are Islamist feminists, who are a contemporary phenomenon especially in the Middle East, politically active or inactive? Are liberal or secular women in Egypt more democratic than Islamist women or the opposite? Such questions will be addressed in the following research with emphasis on examining the role of women in Egyptian politics during Ikwhan’s - Muslims Brotherhood (MB) - regime. Consequently, a comparison will be conducted between Islamist and secularist women’s role during that period to explore which group was more likely to adhere to democracy during that short period of rule. In this study, I argue that Islamist women, based on their beliefs that democracy is compatible with Islamic political laws, were more likely to accept democracy and deny any forms of aristocracy. Their political participation in what was considered as a “transition period” after January 25 Revolution until the military coup has proved their fulfillment of democracy.