Socially Marginalised Women in Selected Narratives of Egyptian Female Writers

Roswitha Badry


Since the 1970s women authors in Egypt have produced a number of narratives that centre on the plight and fate of socially marginalised women. In this context marginalisation is not only understood in the sense of socio-economically disadvantaged women of the lower strata but also refers to non-conformist women, whose behaviour is considered to be deviant from the norm, abnormal or even mad by mainstream society. As a result, they feel alienated from society, and choose diverse ways (passive, active, or subversive) of coping with their fate. This contribution will take selected novels and short stories written by Alifa Rifaat (1930–96), Nawal El Saadawi (b. 1931), and Salwa Bakr (b. 1949) as examples in order to demonstrate the shift in emphasis and perspective on the topic. This will be done against the individual biographical background and writing career of the three authors. Although all authors are committed to women’s issues and gender equality, not all of them can be described as feminist writer-activists. 

Słowa kluczowe: Egyptian women writers, Alifa Rifaat, Nawal El Saadawi, Salwa Bakr, social marginalisation, alienation, literary perspectives
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