Over the past decade, women in Egypt have made great strides in addressing discriminatory laws. The country's personal status legislation, which had been a source of gender discrimination since its inception in the 1920s, has undergone reform, especially with respect to its procedural elements. Legal prohibitions preventing women's equal access to and representation
in the judiciary have been lifted, and social taboos that have restricted their access to certain professions have been broken. At the same time, increasing poverty and hardship have taken their toll on women and their families, limiting their choices and reducing their opportunities to as sert their rights. Rising social conservatism with respect to gender roles and increasing deprivation could ultimately undermine women's ability to translate legal rights into lived realities.