• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Egypt

  • By: Joan Petit
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The past few decades have seen significant changes for women's reproductive health in Egypt, due in large part to a recent government program to improve women's and children's health. Still, marriage and motherhood remain key components of the identity of Egyptian women.

In Egyptian Arabic, girls (bint) become known as women (sitt) only when they have sex following their marriage ceremony; unmarried women are known as “girls” their whole lives. The Arabic phrase umm-il ghayyib, mother of the missing one, refers to infertile women.

The family is a basic part of Egyptian life. Mothers often nurse their children for at least two years and depend upon mothers or mothers-in-law for childcare. Children usually live at home until their marriages, even when they are well into adulthood. Egyptian ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles