Make Sure Women Can Lead in the Middle East
This article, co-authored by Carla Koppell and Haleh Esfandiari, was originally published by Common Ground News Service.
In Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and elsewhere, women have stood with men pushing for change. In Libya, Iman and Salwa Bagaighif are helping lead, shape and support protesters. And in Egypt, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, one of the oldest and most well-known non-governmental organisations in Egypt, estimated that at least 20 per cent of the protesters were women.
For example, the 26-year-old co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, Asmaa Mahfouz, mobilised thousands of youth in support of the protest through her impassioned YouTube video. In Yemen, a 32-year-old mother of three, Tawakkul Karman, helped organise protests against the current government.
Yet women’s leadership in 2011 is not a new phenomenon.
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