Dahlia Roque, Women’s Studies Graduate 2014

Dahlia’s PhD research contained more than the usual challenges of persistence and isolation; her interviews with women in Cairo had to be suspended as the events of the Arab Spring unfolded. She was undaunted however and returned to complete her important research focused on why well-educated middle class Egyptian women leave the labour market once they begin having children. Her research found that the demands of balancing sometimes challenging working environments and key family roles made paid work a difficult almost impossible proposition for many women. The economic and social losses consequent on women’s absence for the labour market are vital to address:

Dahlia RoqueDahlia is currently a Technical Officer for the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Team in Egypt.  She is responsible for managing the Australian DFAT (formerly AusAid) funded “Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People Project – Tackling the Challenge in Agriculture” providing implementation support and guidance to project staff, national and local partners on policies and project interventions that promote employment opportunities for young men and women.



Schmidt, D and Hassanien, D. 2012.  Poverty and Exclusion: Tackling Unemployment in North Africa.  In Stansfield, G. (ed). 2012. After the Arab Spring: Reconstruction and State Building.  United Nations Association of the United Kingdom (UNA-UK).

Schmidt, D and Hassanien, D. 2011. In Need of a Future: Cause and Consequences of High Youth Unemployment – The Case of North Africa.  In Harrison, M. (ed). 2012.  Youth for Democracy: Learning from Nonviolent Struggle across the World. Humanity in Action, Copenhagen.

Hassanien, D. 2010. Gendering Decent Work: Obstacles to Performativity in the Egyptian Work Place. Surfacing: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Gender in the Global South, vol.3(1), pp. 1-16.

Barsoum, G., Ali, R and Hassanien, D. 2009. At Work When There is “No Respect”: Job Quality Issues for Young Women in Egypt. The Population Council. MENA Gender and Work Working Papers.