Aliaa Dawoud


A backlash against women’s rights emerged in post-revolutionary Egypt. This paper argues that one of the reasons is the fact that former President Mubarak, his wife and son were the key decision makers when it came to women’s rights. These decisions were reflected in the media so that women’s rights came to be associated with government policy personalized around the first lady. The paper demonstrates that the backlash did not emerge suddenly after Mubarak was ousted from power, but that dissent against Mubaraks’ decisions pertaining to women was prevalent in the media long before the 25th of January revolution. The paper builds on a number of theories. One of them is whether the notion of personal authoritarianism was applicable to the former President’s wife and son and not just to the President himself. It also takes a new element into consideration: the media, and will analyze the drawbacks of women’s rights as addressed by an authoritarian regime.