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Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 47 No. 2A

No Path to Power: Civil Society, State Services, and the Poverty of City Women

Published on 8 December 2016

In focusing on Ain el‐Sira, a low‐income neighbourhood of Cairo, this article challenges development theorists’ ideas that civil society as a development partner is best able to promote women’s empowerment, community development and justice.

This article contests that development can avoid the machinations of the state or ignore the power imbalances that litter the relationships between state, civil society, citizens and donors! In Egypt, where the state relegates its development duties to civil society, women in Ain el‐Sira experience service initiatives which are duplicated, microcredit loans they often cannot afford to repay, and benefit criteria which are strict and limiting.

Programmes remain unchanged for years and long‐term plans to relieve the burdens of disempowerment and destitution are non‐existent. To achieve real gendered justice which provides women with the assets and capabilities to make choices requires citizenship rights. This can only be gained by engaging critically with state and civil society dynamics and challenging the structures that obstruct empowerment.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 41.2 (2010) No Path to Power: Civil Society, State Services, and the Poverty of City Women

Cite this publication

Sholkamy, H. (2010) No Path to Power: Civil Society, State Services, and the Poverty of City Women. IDS Bulletin 41(2): 46-53

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Authors

Hania Sholkamy

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
authors
Sholkamy, Hania
journal
IDS Bulletin, volume 47, issue 2A
doi
10.1111/j.1759-5436.2010.00122.x
language
English

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Region
Egypt

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