Women, Gender, and Diasporic Lives (edited by Evangelia Tastsoglou)

Chapter 8, by Matoula Tomara – Sideris
Women’s Status in the Greek Colonies of Egypt

Migration is a gendered process (Tastsoglou and Maratou – Alipranti 2003). The Greek community in Egypt (mid – nineteenth to mid-twentieth century) is constituted according to the century-long journey tradition particular to Greeks and within the context colonialism’s consolidation, development and crisis, following a familiar, overtly gendered pattern: At first, mainly unwed men settle, for whom woman is an object of want and longing. Women follow, mainly as “family material”. Then the community’s endogenous dynamics become central, redefining gender relations within evolving contexts. This chapter considers the roles, status and activities differently located Greek women in Egypt across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As a result, it examines the gendered dimensions of the Egyptiot community at multiple levels (demographic, social, economic, cultural, political) in their historical context.

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