My article on the ways female street children develop to live in the gendered space of the street, and how these methods effectively gender the street, was published today by the Daily News Egypt. Please read an excerpt below.
Girls are either pitied for not being able to conform to the gender norms, or despised for the exact same reason. The girls’ own participation in the creation of their roles is not acknowledged. Instead, girls are viewed as passive victims of the circumstances, or of the dominating understanding of gender norms. My research with female street children in Cairo has shown a quite different image. Girls are not just helplessly exposed to some stiff gender norms, but they cope with them, challenge them and shape them themselves. In order to try to understand the living circumstances of girls in the street, one has to ask what girls actually do with the gender norms. How do they perceive them? How do they challenge them? How does a girl in the street perform being a girl in the street? With the aid of the girls themselves, I identified three modes in which girls in the street live and operate: The weak girl, the strong girl and the boy.
Read the full article here.