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Women's Electoral Participation in Egypt: The Implications of Gender for Voter Recruitment and Mobilization

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To what extent do gender considerations impact voter recruitment strategies in Middle Eastern elections? Based on an examination of voting behavior in Egypt, we find that clientelist voter recruitment tends to empower women economically rather than politically as elections provide an opportunity for disadvantaged women to sell their vote to local vote brokers or offer their vote to a local patron in exchange for a future payoff. In contrast, women who vote for Islamist candidates may be able to increase the influence of their political support by creating common knowledge about the popularity of their candidate and by reducing the effectiveness of government repression.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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