Gender equality in educational and occupational choices in Egypt? A study of cultural and societal constraints on women's recruitment and practicing in judicial work.
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After two uprisings in less than three years, fueled with chants of women demanding their rights to freedom, dignity, justice, and equality, Women are still struggling to make inroads into an occupation that has historically been male-dominated, the profession of a judge. According to the Egyptian National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women, which complies with Egypt's Vision 2030 and its Sustainable Development Strategy, women's participation in the Judiciary should increase from less than 1% to 25% by 2030. At the same time, the Judiciary has demonstrated an entrenched belief in gender roles by opposing the recruitment of women in several accusations on the grounds of societal, cultural, traditional, and religious reasoning, which raise the incompatibility debate between culture and woman's human rights. The theme of this master thesis is to question the position of gender equality in the Egyptian Judiciary, with a particular focus on recruitment to the profession of a judge. The research highlights the cultural and societal factors that might lead to gender discrimination in the field, as this appears in the attitudes and beliefs of the professionals. The study's motivation is to open a fruitful dialogue about women's human rights and culture to pursue sustainable gender equality. The study uses a qualitative research methodology to identify the constraints and attitudes towards women's inclusion from the interviewees' perspective. I answered the research question by analyzing the findings in the light of relevant theoretical approaches. From the analysis, women in Egypt face both collective gender discrimination and intersectional discrimination in the recruitment to some judiciary posts. Gender roles, gender stereotypes, and hegemonic masculinity prevail in the cultural norms and inside the Judiciary, affecting the woman's practice of the occupation. Keywords: Egypt; Culture; Human rights; Women's rights; Sustainable development goals; SDG; Gender; Stereotypes; Hegemonic masculinity; Discrimination; Occupational; Educational; Choices