Social class and sexual stigma: local interpretations of emergency contraception in Egypt

L. L. Wynn, Hosam Moustafa Abdel Hafez, Ahmed Ragab

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) contain the same hormones found in daily oral contraceptive pills and are taken after sex to prevent pregnancy. While oral contraceptive pills are widely available and accepted in Egyptian society, a stigma lurks around ECPs, which are portrayed as a cover-up for and enabler of immoral sexuality. DKT Egypt, the NGO that produces the only brand of ECP sold in Cairo, has contributed to this image by marketing the drug predominantly to upper-class, bilingual Egyptian women who are widely seen to be the most sexually permissive women in Egypt. This chapter is based on two years of ethnographic research and archival examination of religious jurisprudence interpretations of reproductive health technologies in Egypt, conducted by an American anthropologist, an Egyptian physician, and an Egyptian professor of public health. In examining why emergency contraception is so little-known and little-used in Egypt, Wynn, Moustafa and Ragab argue that social expectations surrounding this reproductive health technology interact with anxieties over changing sexual norms in Egypt and fear of a conservative backlash to influence the marketing of emergency contraception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical issues in reproductive health
EditorsAndrzej Kulczycki
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789400767225
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSpringer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis
ISSN (Print)1877-2560
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1990


  • Emergency Contraception
  • Family Planning Program
  • Oral Contraceptive Pill
  • Reproductive Health
  • Unintended Pregnancy


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