CWA Commentary

Photo Source: AlJazeera
   NIAS Course on Global Politics
National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore
For any further information or to subscribe to GP alerts send an email to subachandran@nias.res.in
Click here for PDF Version Print Bookmark

CWA # 337, 17 September 2020

GLOBAL PROTEST MOVEMENTS
“Unveiling”: Women and protest movements in the Middle East

  Anju Annie Mammen

Certain key trends have been observed across the protests involving women. Women are addressing discrimination against them through protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, etc. They are captured on camera openly condemning the ruling government and their policies, and share personal experiences that many young women can relate.

Background

The past year has seen an increasing number of protests that has swept through the Middle East and North Africa, confronting several governments in the region such as Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt,  Iraq and Palestine to name a few. These protests occur almost a decade after the Arab Spring and has therefore, been referred to as the ‘New Arab Spring’ or ‘Arab Spring 2.0’. These protests share several social, economic and political features with its previous movements. Nevertheless, large number of women on its frontlines champions this new wave of protests.

Women in the Middle Eastern countries are facing the conundrum of being ‘doubly oppressed’. Women have to fight rampant corruption, sectarianism, economic recession, unemployment, poverty, lack of necessities, etc., which plague their countries. They also have to deal with the underlying evils of the society that specifically target them such as patriarchy, repressive religious laws and the dire underrepresentation of women both in politics as well as in the workforce.

The rise of the protest movements in Lebanon and other countries in the region with large participation of women in them have not been without developments. Lebanon’s October Revolution has come with an outpouring of support for its female protestors, both within the MENA region as well as in the global community. The sheer popularity of the movement has brought in many lawyers to the protests who help these women who are facing relentless harassment, abuse and violence in the streets, who might otherwise find legal support expensive. Besides the demand for economic development and political reform, women have demanded equal rights not only for themselves but also for the LGBTQ+ community as well as the migrants. The female protestors say that they are representing those communities whose voices have been unheard or silenced. They stress that any demand that is being called for should also include the minorities and the marginalised peoples of the society, thereby prioritising solidarity and unity.

The fact that the revolution has been leaderless has helped many women across sectarian divisions to come to the frontlines and participate in the protest movements, helming roles such as discussing strategies and organising protests.

Click the PDF file to read the full essay. It was first published in the NIAS Quarterly on Contemporary World Affairs, Vol 2, Issues 2&3. 

Click here for PDF Version Print Bookmark

Other CWA Publications

The World this Week
January 2021 | CWA # 417

GP Team

The US returns to the Paris Agreement, and India reengages the region through a Vaccine diplomacy

read more
Conflict Weekly 54
January 2021 | CWA # 416

IPRI Team

New President in the US, new Chinese Village in Arunachal Pradesh, new Israeli settlement in West Bank, and another massacre in Sudan

read more
GP Conversations
January 2021 | CWA # 415

GP Team

Iran’s decision to enrich its Uranium by 20 per cent: What does it mean?

read more
GP Conversations
January 2021 | CWA # 414

GP Team

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Global and Regional Implications

read more
The World This Week
January 2021 | CWA # 413

GP Team

North Korea's Party Congress, Houthis as terrorists, and Elections in Uganda

read more
Conflict Weekly 53
January 2021 | CWA # 412

IPRI Team

Trump impeached by the US House, Hazara miners buried in Pakistan, Farm laws stayed in India, and the Crisis escalation in CAR

read more
Pakistan This Week
January 2021 | CWA # 411

D Suba Chandran

The Hazaras protest over burying the dead; PM says don’t blackmail me

read more
The World This Week
January 2021 | CWA # 410

GP Team

Disorderly transition in the US, Breakthrough over Qatar, Enrichment in Iran and Arrests in Hong Kong

read more
Conflict Weekly 52
January 2021 | CWA # 409

IPRI Team

GCC lifts Qatar blockade, Iran decides to enrich uranium, Argentina legalizes abortion, French soldiers targeted in Mali, and the AFSPA extended in India's Northeast

read more
Pakistan This Week
January 2021 | CWA # 408

D Suba Chandran

The PDM differences, Gwadar fencing, and Lakhvi's arrest

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 407

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

Nagorno-Karabakh: Rekindled fighting, Causalities and a Ceasefire

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 406

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Thailand: For the pro-democracy protests, it is a long march ahead

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 405

Mallika Devi

Hong Kong: Slow Strangulation of Protests, Security Law and China's victory

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 404

Harini Madhusudan

Brexit: A year of the UK-EU transition talks and finally, a Deal 

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 403

Kamna Tiwary

Europe: From anti-government protests in Belarus to ‘United for Abortion’ in Poland 

read more
Conflict Reader
December 2020 | CWA # 402

Apoorva Sudhakar

Ethiopia: The conflict in Tigray and the regional fallouts

read more