Author Topic: Egyptian women on the front line of protests  (Read 1986 times)

Offline magicmountain

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Egyptian women on the front line of protests
« on: February 07, 2011, 04:11:58 am »
Of all the astounding things that Rihab Assad has witnessed during these days of tumult, one stood out for her: the sight of a woman with a megaphone leading a crowd of demonstrators in chants.

''And all of these men just chanting after her, repeating what she said,'' marvelled Ms Assad, an office manager in her 40s who lives in Cairo. ''To me, this was something entirely new.''

For many Egyptian women, the huge street demonstrations that have shaken the authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak have raised hopes of a more personal brand of liberation. Long treated as second-class citizens, the women say they have found an unexpected equality on the front lines of the protest.

Advertisement: Story continues below Almost from the outset of unrest, women and girls have made up a substantial presence in Tahrir Square, Cairo's central plaza which quickly became the focal point of the struggle. Teenage girls, dignified matrons and white-haired grandmothers have trekked daily to the square, swelling the crowds at a time when numbers were a crucial gauge of opposition power.

Although most leaders in the loose coalition of anti-government groups are men, women have proved themselves adept grassroots organisers, taking up visible tasks such as identity checks and bag searches of women entering the square.

''I was brought up to believe I was powerless,'' said Reem Hatem, 23, a school teacher who lives in Giza. ''But this was a chance to send a message that no, we're not weak and sitting at home and being afraid. This is a way of telling men something.''

http://www.smh.com.au/world/women-find-a-voice-in-protest-square-20110206-1aii4.html
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. - Alexander the Great

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Egyptian women on the front line of protests
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 12:01:29 pm »
We can only hope.

Women being on the front lines of other revolutions didn't help their status once the overthrow succeeded and new govt was in place - South Africa and the American Revolution are two just off the top of my head.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 08:45:28 pm by delalluvia »

Offline magicmountain

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Re: Egyptian women on the front line of protests
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 09:17:23 pm »
We can only hope.

Women being on the front lines of other revolutions didn't help their status once the overthrow succeeded and new govt was in place - South Africa and the American Revolution are two just off the top of my head.

True. But I still feel it gives women a sense of their own power that they won't easily forget - and may feel brave enough to act upon in the future.
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. - Alexander the Great