Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Women's journals in 19th century Egypt

I love seeing Western stereotypes of Middle Eastern and Muslim women messed around with. Here is an excerpt from today’s piece of light reading, Beth Baron’s The Women’s Awakening in Egypt: Culture, Society & the Press:

“Women found new opportunities in the business of periodical production. To some extent this was continuous with past entrepreneurial endeavors undertaken by women in Egypt. Elite women in the Mamluk period had developed astute investment strategies to safeguard and multiply family assets. Rural and urban women of the middle and lower classes in the 19th century had been involved in petty trade and other business enterprises. They were occasionally assisted in their ventures by male family members or representatives who handled their legal affairs and found protection in Islamic laws that guaranteed women’s share of inheritance and their property rights. Court records show many women coming to court in person or by proxy to defend these rights in the 19th century. Building on past patterns, the founders of women’s journals [in late 19th century Cairo and Alexandria] took advantage of contemporary economic opportunities to try their hands at a new venture, one which tested their business acumen”.

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This entry was posted on December 3, 2011 by in Books, Middle East, The Media, Women and Feminism and tagged , , , , , .
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