28 April 2011

An Arab Spring for Women

An Arab Spring for Women, by Shahin Cole and Juan Cole (Asia Times, 29 April 2011)

The "Arab Spring" has received copious attention in the American media, but one of its crucial elements has been largely overlooked: the striking role of women in the protests sweeping the Arab world. Despite inadequate media coverage of their role, women have been and often remain at the forefront of those protests.

As a start, women had a significant place in the Tunisian demonstrations that kicked off the Arab Spring, often marching up Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, the capital, with their husbands and children in tow. Then, the spark for the Egyptian uprising that forced president Hosni Mubarak out of office was a January 25th demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square called by an impassioned
young woman via a video posted on Facebook. In Yemen, columns of veiled women have come out in Sana'a and Taiz to force that country's autocrat from office, while in Syria, facing armed secret police, women have blockaded roads to demonstrate for the release of their husbands and sons from prison.
Link: An Arab Spring for Women