Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Lindsay Gifford


The mass participation of women in the 2011 Egyptian Arab Spring began what many thought would be a new feminist movement. As news cycles started showing the central role of women in the Arab Spring, many people including the women who demonstrated believed women’s rights were on the horizon. This study shows why the 2011 Arab Spring did not deliver on the promises of women’s rights in Egypt. Explaining the historical, religious, and societal influences on women’s rights in Egypt, and using data from the Arab Barometer and reports from the World Bank and UN, this study shows that the demands Egyptian women made during the Arab Spring were left largely unmet and, in some cases, gender discrimination increased. This study will explain why women’s rights cannot only be measured by legislative changes but requires a comprehensive understanding of why certain barriers to gender equality persist.