The role of Arabs women during the protests in the MENA region

Arab newspapers highlighted the role of women as integral part of the protests in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria and all Arab Spring countries.

While many writers praised the participation of women in the decision-making process within the Arab region, others criticized attempts to “bullying and commodification” against women, in order “to ridicule the revolution.”

Women put the prison, were tortured in brutal ways and suffered poor humanitarian conditions, siege and persecution. During the uprising in the MENA region, they expressed their rights and demanded to activate their importance, together with the demand of stopping corruption, the monopoly of power and other democratic demands raised in the protests.

Disgusting masculine disease

“The recent protests in Lebanon shed a light on the role of women in the current political changes, so that they, like men, have the equal voice and presence in the streets and squares of Lebanese protest, with their wide participation in demonstrations against the political, social and economic situation in the country they in fact proved to be an integral part of the protests, showing a diversified participation, which has painted the protests in a unified color with promises of gender equality.

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Observers underline the despicable „machoism“ of some superficial male statements and the attempts of the „fifth column“, most of them visible on social networking sites, and in many cases, using a vulgar and humiliating language, denying the the importance of the protests, saying that the women’s participation is a contradiction. As if the gender is what determines the courage of human beings and their attitudes.

“I like and fill me with enthusiasm for writing,” says Ahmed Shehab El-Din, at the Egyptian berth 22. “People in Beirut insist on calling their movement a revolution. They want comprehensive change, no leadership, just like their counterparts in the Arab revolutions.”

The writer adds that “what draws the attention of former protests in the Arab Spring countries, this boldness, more precisely, this bold and intimate feminist presence, which culminated in a huge women’s march, in the light of the sun and mobile cameras and satellite TV, does not only provoke the image Gulf-funded media want to draw, highlighting the extreme and backward conservatism.

Strong participation

The Jordan newspaper „Al-Majd“ says that the strong participation of Lebanese women in the demonstrations has received a great deal of attention on social media, despite the participation of women and girls in previous demonstrations during the Arab Spring revolutions in a number of countries in the region, such as strong women’s participation in the political movement witnessed in Sudan just recently leading to the successful dismissal of former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The paper sees that some of the comments by a number of Arab social media users on the strong presence of women in the Lebanese protests have been characterized by negativity to the point of verbal harassment in some cases, albeit cynism, which was rejected by other users.

The participation of Sudanese, Lebanese and Iraqi women in decision-making is of great interest to activists on democracy and human rights, as the establishment of stability and civil representation needs women, who participated in Arab movements. Here, it should be noted that the Arab woman by nature is a fundamental advocate of security and safety, knowing that that woman herself paid dearly the price of political conflicts at the expense of her dignity and the fragmentation of her family and the loss of the possibility of effective influence in the events that contribute to the marginalization, but a significant decline in their role under extremism and ideological petrification.

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