11 responses to “An Arab Spring for women?”

  1. MM

    Meanwhile, in Lebanon, a new cabinet has been formed. It is composed of 35 men, and not a single solitary woman.

  2. Lina Abou-Habib

    Indeed, there is a strong global and MENA backlash in relation to women’s position and women’s rights which is taking various forms and shapes. Turkey has just dismantled the Ministry for Women and replaced it with a Ministry for Family Affairs. This is an indication of a growing conservative view of women’s role being in the family rather than them being independent citizens endowed with rights.

  3. ravi
  4. Charlene

    MM, you shouldn’t expect change to come from the top. It never has and it never will. It is only by organizing at the grassroots that women (and men) will be able to force through progressive change.

  5. Knox

    Charlene, Lebanon is a democracy. The majority of voters voted for the government. If the elected representatives endorse a cabinet that does not include any women, that is democracy in action. Presumably Lebanese women (and men) voted for the members of parliament who endorse the new cabinet…..

  6. Janine

    Read this: Women on a Political Backslide
    By Dalila Mahdawi
    Jul 6, 2011 (IPS) …
    The total exclusion of women from Lebanon’s Cabinet comes at a time when Arab women appear to be suffering major political setbacks. Despite significant participation by women in the popular uprisings in Egypt, only one woman has been appointed to the new 27-member Cabinet. A quota for women enacted in 2010 has been shelved.

    In Tunisia, where women previously held over a quarter of parliamentary seats, women have been sidelined, with only two of 31 ministries now being led by women. The Arab feminist movement has been “naïve to think the clock cannot turn backwards,” says Abou-Habib.

    Her organisation CRTD-A has just concluded a two-day regional strategising meeting with Arab feminist movements. “We all agreed that the challenge is way bigger now,” she says. “There has been a tangible rise in fundamentalist and religious groups throughout the region and these groups will do harm to women.”

  7. Lina Abou-Habib

    It would be wise to rethink the common definition of democracy. It is widely held that free elections are the cornerstone of democracy. It is time to challenge this idea. While free elections are a must, they do not necessary lead to inclusion, full participation, non-discrimination and equality…

  8. Red

    It seems it would also be wise to rethink the common (media) definition of revolution. Some commentators would have you believe that what has been happening in several countries in the Arab world are revolutions, but, as women are finding out, nothing very much has really changed, and there certainly has not been a process of one class taking power from another….

  9. f

    Libya will only become inclusive when women are given a say in its future
    Having played a key role in Libya’s revolution, women must be fully included in the rebuilding and reconciliation process, writes Farah Abushwesha in The Guardian on Friday 2 September 2011

  10. The WIP

    Bothaina Kamel: Egypt’s first female nominee for the presidency
    by Manar Ammar

    In a sea of local press coverage and media appearances of presidential nominees for Egypt’s upcoming election, Bothaina Kamel’s name is left out. As the country’s first woman to nominate herself for Egypt’s highest position, she is doing more on the ground than any of her male competitors.

    The 49-year-old former talk show host is no stranger to breaking social norms of what a woman can and cannot do. A self-proclaimed social democrat, her campaign motto is simple: “Egypt is my agenda.”

    The WIP is the global source for women’s perspectives.

  11. Charles Arthur

    Eastern Europe’s neoliberal disaster provides a warning for the Arab spring

    Rather than help enhance democracy and reduce corruption, following western advice on privatisation does the exact opposite