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Through an analysis of contemporary citizenship theory and its application to the lives of undocumented women in Manshiet Nasser, this thesis questions the gendering of citizenship.
The formal definition of citizenship presupposes equality.
The reality, however, does not.
This study argues that women who lack birth certificates and identity cards present a limit of the conventional concepts of citizenship.
These women, who are considered second class citizens and are marginalized by their gender and social class, have no direct relationship with the state.
They must rely on a male guardian in matters concerning the public sphere, and this further alienates them from the state and its services.
Undocumented women are thus considered non-existent in the eyes of the state.
This intensifies their economic hardship and further aggravates their underprivileged situation and struggle for survival.
MA in Sociology and Anthropology, The American University in Cairo.
Director of Development, Mediterranean School of Business, Tunis, Tunisia
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