Tag Archive | "arab spring"

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Famed Egyptian Feminist Nawal Saadawi Visits Moroccan Activists, As Egypt’s Fate Hangs in the Balance

Posted on 02 July 2013 by

Rabat, July 1st 2013

Dr. Nawal Saadawi had just heard the press statement in which the Egyptian army gave President Mursi a 48 hours-ultimatum to meet the demands of the people, after millions took to the streets to demand he step down.

Egyptian Feminist Nawal Saadawi Visits WLP partners in Morocco

Egyptian Feminist Nawal Saadawi Visits WLP partners in Morocco

It is thus with great enthusiasm that, a few minutes later, the octogenarian feminist — definitely young at heart and full of humor — went out to meet the audience waiting for her at the headquarters of the Moroccan Organization of Human Rights (OMDH) in Rabat.

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What do women want in the post-Arab spring era?

Posted on 26 April 2013 by

Two years after the start of the Arab Spring, women and girls in the Arab region seem to be the big losers of a process that promised much in terms of democracy and justice but has thus far delivered too little.

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Activists warn that Arab women being ignored in post-revolutionary period at opening of EWR conference

Posted on 25 January 2013 by

By Olivia Alabaster for WLP Lebanon/CRTD-A

While the overwhelming majority of states in the MENA region have ratified CEDAW, (only Sudan, Somalia and Palestine are not states party to the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women) many have done so with reservations or without genuine implementation on the ground.

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The power of transnational partnership in challenging the new war on women

Posted on 23 October 2012 by

Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) joined the World Movement for Democracy Seventh Annual Assembly in Lima, Peru (October 15-17). At the Assembly WLP hosted Topical Workshop: Democratic Transitions and the Inclusion of Women to generate a participatory conversation on advancing women’s rights and democracy during periods of political transition. Panelists asked what the gendered outcomes of democratic transitions might be, and how women could weigh with significant bargaining power in those transitions. Lina Abou-Habib, WLP Lebanon, shares insights from the session.

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History books vs YouTube: Democratization and the Arab Spring

Posted on 19 March 2012 by

Abandoned Fax Machine (cc) Abhisek Sarda

The official narrative’s toughest competitor is now YouTube.

Reports of horror have been coming in from Homs, Syria. Last year in Deraa (Syria also), a family was returned the horrifyingly mutilated body of their 13 year-old child. Children had playfully scribbled “the people desire the downfall of the regime” on a wall, and were immediately rounded up by the authorities. During their long disappearance, when parents asked news of their children, they were told to go “make some more [children]”. ‘Child Martyr’ Hamza Ali el-Khateeb’s body was eventually returned bruised, burnt, riddled with bullets, and other unmentionable atrocities. His parents posted a video of the horror on YouTube.

In the past, it was very much the case that history was written by the victors. The history books and official newspapers primarily reflected one point of view and the victims’ accounts disappeared. Today, YouTube and easily-duplicated digital records are standing neck-to-neck with these official narratives; multiple accounts will live on.

Governments clearly sense this. On January 28, 2011, the Egyptian government shut down the country’s internet access down to a single cable to keep the Cairo stock exchange running.  The whole country and its activists were disconnected. However a group of cyberactivists called Telecomix engineered a parallel access solution using analog fax machines and telephone landlines. 50 or so activists were hooked up this way, and information was once again able to flow out of Egypt. This information was able not only to help activists organize on the ground, but also to impact citizens and voters around the world.

If Tunisian author Tahir Ben Jelloun is correct, the Arab Spring is also seeing the emergence of ‘the individual’. He argues that whereas in the past, Arab society focused on the clan, the tribe, the family at the expense of the individual, that now the Arab individual is being born and will ultimately prevail in the social fabric. What is key is that the individual is the basis of democracy, where one individual is one vote, and one vote can determine an election’s outcome.

YouTube, as well as other digital activism tools, can influence faraway voters in a country’s election as they assess the candidates’ ability to respond to human rights crises and violations. Sadly, at the same time, we hear political analysts explain that world leaders turning a blind eye in Syria is directly tied to this being a big election year – in Russia, the US, France, Mexico, Venezuela and many others.

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Women Drive Change – Call for Women + Tech Photos

Posted on 01 February 2012 by

While I was already thrilled to be representing WLP as a participant in SXSW* this year, after just getting off a planning call with my co-panelists, I am even more energized for our event — only a few weeks away!

WLP Youth Tech Festival participants practice using tech for women's empowerment (2011; Amman, Jordan)

Our SXSW panel, “Women Drive Change: Tech in the Global South,” will discuss how women in the Global South are using technology in new and creative ways to change the world, from leveraging social media for political power, to using mobile technologies to start their own businesses, to breaking gender barriers with the support of tech-based tools.

But…we need your help! In preparing for our presentation, we are collecting photos related to the theme of “women and technology in the Global South” and would love to incorporate your contributions! So, PLEASE SEND YOUR PHOTOS either via twitter, using #SXFemTech or WLP’s Twitter account @WLP1, or via Facebook on our SXSW panel page. If you have trouble sending us a picture via Twitter or Facebook, just leave me a comment below with your email address and I’ll be in touch.

In addition to your photos, please share any articles, thoughts, or experiences related to women and tech in the Global South.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing your beautiful pictures!

For those who can make it to Austin on March 13, come join our conversation 3:30-4:30 pm at the AT&T Conference Hotel, Salon E.

For more information on the panel discussion and my amazing co-panelists, please visit our event page.

*For those of you unfamiliar with SXSW…
What started as a showcase for cutting-edge musicians has since morphed into a massive ten day event that essentially takes over the city of Austin, Texas and includes music, a film festival, and SXSW Interactive, which highlights new developments in the world of technology.

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“If women do not get their rights, this is not a democracy”

Posted on 30 November 2011 by

In the weeks leading up to Monday’s historic election in Egypt, WLP talked with leading Egyptian women’s rights activist Amal Abdel Hadi about the upcoming elections and the future of women’s rights in the country. The following is a portion of our conversation.

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Despite Setbacks, Women Will Make a Difference

Posted on 25 November 2011 by

Nikita Shahbazi of Shahrzad News conducted the following interview with WLP President Mahnaz Afkhami at the WIDE conference in Brussels

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Toward Women’s Rights in the Middle East

Posted on 02 November 2011 by

The Middle East has seen unprecedented movement toward democracy in recent months, and women have been in the front lines of the Arab Spring demonstrations from Cairo to Damascus. Still hoarse from cheering in the streets, however, women now find themselves largely voiceless in the political process of rewriting national laws and constitutions.

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NPR Interview: Asma Khader on Women and Democratic Transition

Posted on 20 September 2011 by

Can Arab Spring Improve Lives Of Women?Asma Khader, General Coordinator of WLP Jordan/SIGI/J spoke with NPR from WLP’s Transnational Partners Convening in Warrenton, Virginia earlier this week on women’s role in the democratic transitions taking place in the MENA region: Click here to listen to Asma Khader on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michelle Martin.

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The Winds of Change Have Come

Posted on 01 July 2011 by

The following is an editorial from Voices of Women, a newspaper published by WLP Palestine/Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC). Translated from the Arabic original by WATC.

Winds of change have arrived to the Arab region; as a matter of fact, Arab people created the winds of change. It is not the time to argue which is more accurate. What is more important is that the environment around us is screaming out: Change!!

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