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
May 2021 | CWA # 464

GP Team

100 days of President Biden, and three years of inter-Korean dialogue 

read more
Conflict Weekly 68
April 2021 | CWA # 463

IPRI Team

Israel-Syria missile strikes, Clashes in Somalia and Afghan meetings in Pakistan

read more
Fukushima: A Decade After
April 2021 | CWA # 462

V S Ramamurthy and Dinesh K Srivastava

An energy mix of renewables and nuclear is the most viable option

read more
India and COVID-19
April 2021 | CWA # 461

Lokendra Sharma

Deadly second wave spirals into a humanitarian disaster

read more
The World This Week
April 2021 | CWA # 460

GP Team

Biden's climate summit, Putin's new redlines, China's media clampdown in Hong Kong, and India's alarming COVID case

read more
Politics over Rare Earths
April 2021 | CWA # 459

Harini Madhusudan

The Greenland election result is all about eco-geopolitics, and growing Chinese interests

read more
Africa
April 2021 | CWA # 458

Apoorva Sudhakar

Libya: A new unity government and rekindled hope, a decade after the fall of Gaddafi

read more
ConflictWeekly 67
April 2021 | CWA # 457

IPRI Team

George Floyd murder trial, Fukushima water release controversy, anti-France protests in Pakistan, Report on the Rwandan genocide and another Loya Jirga in Afghanistan

read more
The World This Week
April 2021 | CWA # 456

GP Team

Iran's 60 per cent nuclear enrichment, US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, India's second COVID wave, US-China Climate dialogue,  Sanctions on Russia, and US-Japan Dialogue

read more
Conflict Weekly 66
April 2021 | CWA # 455

IPRI Team

Riots in Northern Ireland, Sabotage on an Iranian nuclear facility, and a massacre in Ethiopia

read more
The World This Week
April 2021 | CWA # 454

GP Team

Return of the Iran nuclear talks, Pak-Russia rapprochement, Greenland elections, and Russia-Ukraine tensions

read more
Conflict Weekly 65
April 2021 | CWA # 453

IPRI Team

Global gender gap report, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks failure, Maoist attack in India, Border tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the Security forces take control of Palma in Mozambique

read more
The World This Week
April 2021 | CWA # 452

GP Team

The WHO Report on COVID-19, and Brazil's political crisis

read more
Afghanistan
March 2021 | CWA # 451

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

The US-Taliban Deal: One Year Later

read more
NIAS GP Debate on Quad
March 2021 | CWA # 450

Akriti Sharma

The Quad Plus and the search beyond the four countries

read more
NIAS GP Debate on Quad
March 2021 | CWA # 449

Avishka Ashok

Despite the economic challenges, there are opportunities for Quad

read more

Click below links for year wise archive
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018