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Women's Roles in Independence Movements Throughout the Middle East Essay

Project id 1014161
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 3268
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Women's roles in independence movements throughout the Middle East were as diverse as their male counterparts', although not as well remembered. Lots of women rebelled from inside traditional feminine spaces, according to colonizers and male nationals, instead of vying for roles in the standard political world. Male and female revolutionaries risked the same dangers, but almost invariably girls did not hold any substantial leadership positions within nationalistic movements. Colonial powers often did not distinguish between female and male enemy combatants, penalizing both with equal seriousness. In both Egypt and Algeria, independence movements employed a language of 'women's rights' and 'women's issues' to advance their own aims, yet in these two states women were particularly prone to the violence of war and their 'rights' were hardly addressed again after independence was won. This strategy is not an unusual one in histories of colonialism and nationalism. Nonetheless, it offers a staging ground for evaluation of the significance of citizenship and provides insight into the nation-making process. Judith Tucker examines the functions of 'insurrectionary' women in nineteenth century Egypt: their perceived place in society, the forms of rebellion they exude, and their outcomes. She observes that though the background of women's political participation (now) cannot be written into the history of Egypt's formal political world, it isn't any less important. She points out that just a few (feminine) people stand out against the background of traditional ideology, though obviously independence movements count on the participation of all society, a reality that is often overlooked in history textbooks. Women's...

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