Religion, Outreach, and Legitimacy: Women and Islamic Healthcare in Egypt
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With the rise of Islamist parties to power in Egypt, the question of how women will be affected by the Islamist agenda has gained new urgency. This research examines the rise of Islamic health services as well as the Islamist movement in Egypt in order to assess how women are affected by these phenomena. Governmental Egyptian health services have declined in both quality and quantity since the establishment of the Nasserist welfare state during the 1960s. Services affecting women, in particular, have varied in coincidence with the state's pattern of repression, supervision and cooption of healthcare organizations in the Parallel Islamic Sector. Islamic hospitals and clinics, some affiliated with Islamist political organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, have grown in popularity and influence during the past several decades. Research indicates that Islamic and Islamist health clinics consistently out-perform the state in the provision of health services to many Egyptians, and generally provide high quality, modern and Western medical care. Analyzing the popularity of these parallel Islamic organizations will illuminate how these services substituted for and subsequently challenged the legitimacy of the state in providing healthcare to Egyptian women.