Isobel Coleman

Democracy in Development

Coleman maps the intersections between political reform, economic growth, and U.S. policy in the developing world.

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Women in the Arab Uprisings

by Isobel Coleman
December 21, 2011

Women chant anti-military council slogans as they protest against the military council violations against female demonstrators in Cairo on December 20, 2011 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Over the past year, the tumultuous events of the Arab uprisings have been gripping. Women have played a notable role in protesting against and overthrowing their governments. But how have they fared in the ongoing process of political reconstruction? Back in February, I warned in the Washington Post that the Mideast revolutions might not be so favorable for women. Over the summer, I wrote a longer article for the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) examining the challenges that women face across the region. I revisit this topic in a piece for Foreign Policy Bottom line: women in Tunisia seem to be holding their own, but developments in Libya and especially in Egypt are worrying for women. How new governments in the Middle East incorporate women’s rights will be a key marker for how they approach many other critical issues, including more broadly human rights, minority rights, and religious freedom. Stay tuned.

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