Title

Gendered Limitations on Women Property Owners: Three Women of Early Modern Cairo

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Publication Title

Hawwa

Volume

10

Issue

3

First Page

127

Last Page

150

DOI

10.1163/15692086-12341234

Keywords

urban history, Ottoman Egypt, family history, early modern history, Mamluk Egypt, property, women

Abstract

Women’s rights to be independent property owners in the pre-modern Islamic world can be overemphasized. This article explores the legal frameworks and social and familial customs that limited women’s ability to act as autonomous property owners in late Mamluk and early Ottoman Egypt. Three case studies of early modern women of different socio-economic status demonstrate how these limitations come into focus only when women’s ownership of property is tracked over the long term. These case studies and supporting material are drawn from sales and waqf endowment documents held at the Egyptian National Archives and the Archives of the Ministry of Religious Endowments.