Gendering the Arab Spring

Arab women journalists/activists, “cyberfeminism,” and the sociopolitical revolution

Authored by: Sahar Khamis

The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415527699
eBook ISBN: 9780203066911
Adobe ISBN: 9781135076955


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Any observer of the so-called Arab Spring, the massive wave of political revolt that has been sweeping the Arab region since 2011, could not help but notice the visible role that women have been playing in it. Hundreds of thousands of Arab women throughout the region, including in some of the most traditional, conservative countries, like Yemen and Bahrain, took to the streets, alongside men, calling for an end to dictatorship and repression and demanding dignity and freedom (Khamis 2011; Radsch 2011, 2012). In doing so, they were not confining themselves to stereotypical gender roles, such as nurturing or supporting men in their struggle for freedom. Rather, they were often in the front lines of resistance, risking their lives, exposed to the dangers of arrest or assault. The Arab Spring unveiled “numerous examples of courageous Arab women heroes risking not only their reputation but also their physical safety for the sake of reform” (Al-Malki et al. 2012: 81).

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