Women’s status in the Middle East since the Arab Spring

September 26, 2011

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(AP/Amr Nabil)
Women have an opportunity to reshape their rights in nations like Egypt that have been altered by the Arab Spring.

As longstanding and repressive regimes are pressured and collapse in North Africa and the Middle East, women’s roles in this new reality garner more and more scrutiny. In many cases, women were critical actors in these revolutions and fought side-by-side with men as bloggers, activists, leaders and logistics experts, but human rights observers wonder how much space there will be for women in the democratization process. Aside from political concerns, women still have to confront institutional misogyny, deep economic inequities and sexual violence with impunity.

We discuss these concerns with Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.