The gap between rich and poor is widening in most countries, putting more pressure on women in particular who often find themselves with the ultimate responsibility to provide for their families, especially their children, in the face of economic and political discrimination. Based on participant observation and in-depth interviews in four low-income neighborhoods in Cairo, this book offers rich, novel and intimate data relating to poor women's lives and everyday forms of resistance to gender inequalities in the labor market and at home. In contrast to the common stereotype of Middle Eastern women as totally oppressed and devoid of agency, this study shows the complex and diverse ways in which low-income women devise strategies to contest existing gender arrangements and improve their situation. It is a significant contribution to current debates about poverty, gender, power, and resistance.
DedicationAcknowledgementA Note on TransliterationIntroduction: A Personal TrajectoryChapter 1. Rethinking Approaches to Resistance, Power and Gender Relations: Towards a Theoretical FrameworkChapter 2. The Macrocontext: an Overview of Sociopolitical and Economic Transformations in EgyptChapter 3. The Research Setting and Characteristics of the Study CommunityChapter 4. Ethnography in One's Native City: Research Approach, Methods, and Fieldwork EncountersChapter 5. Premarital Standards and ExpectationsChapter 6. Marriage Transactions and NegotiationsChapter 7. Defiance and Acquiescence in The Labor MarketChapter 8. Conjugal Arrangements and SexualityChapter 9. Intrahousehold Decisions and Extrahousehold NetworksConclusion: Toward an "Organic Feminism"TablesTable I: Population of Egypt, 1937-1995Table II: An Example of an AymaMapMap I: Map of CairoAppendicesAppendix I: Description of Study PopulationAppendix II: Guiding Research QuestionsBibliographyIndex