Le long d’un printemps qui semblait fleurir bon la révolution, les femmes arabes ont nourri des espoirs et rêvé de changements. Elles ont parfois réussi à appeler publiquement de leurs vœux la fin des régimes corrompus et l’avènement de la démocratie. Hélas ! Si la rébellion arabe a témoigné parfois d’une présence féminine importante, comme en Tunisie, elle est restée ostensiblement masculine au Yémen et en Libye, voire en Egypte. Les images de certaines manifestantes voilées de pied en cap laissaient perplexe sur les intentions «révolutionnaires» de leurs auteures pendant que les instances et conseils révolutionnaires se succédaient en alignant les cravates et les barbes. D’autres signes devaient nous alerter sur ces soulèvements en passe de laisser les femmes sur le quai. Dans les manifestations, peu de revendications féministes ou de slogans pour l’égalité, pas de programme réclamant un changement significatif de la condition des femmes. Même les Tunisiennes, les plus actives dans le soulèvement contre Ben Ali, ont été éliminées de la course au pouvoir. Le gouvernement Kaïd Sebssi concédait un seul portefeuille important aux femmes, aucun parti n’était présidé par une figure féminine en vue et, sur les 1 700 listes candidates à la Constituante, on comptait juste 7% de femmes têtes de listes.

While the Arab Spring has provided women with space to make their voices heard, “It has also become clear that there are real risks, especially [for woman] in places like Egypt and Libya,” said Head of Human Rights Watch’s Women Division Liesl Gerntholtz. 

“[Arab] women were visible, they went out and demonstrated for changes, but unfortunately right after the ousters of [Tunisian President Zeineddine] Ben Ali and [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak, we saw a backlash,” added her colleague, Nadya Khalife, the Middle East North Africa researcher in HRW’s women's rights division. 

Hundreds of women have set fire to their traditional veils in Yemen in protest at the violence used against anti-government demonstrators. The women, in the capital Sanaa, made a pile of veils in the street which they then doused with petrol and set alight.

Women have played a key part in the uprising against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Yemeni woman activist, Tawakkul Karman, was joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She received the award for her role in the struggle for women's rights and democracy in Yemen.

Political activist Tawakkul Karman has brought Yemen’s revolution to New York, speaking directly on October 20 with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and organizing rallies at the United Nations headquarters in lower Manhattan, the largest of which is slated for the afternoon of October 21. The purpose of her visit is to keep pressure on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that reflects the aspirations of the overwhelming numbers of Yemenis who have sustained peaceful calls for change for the nine long months since protests began in late January.

LONDON — The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded on Friday to three campaigning women from Africa and the Arab world in acknowledgment of their nonviolent role in promoting peace, democracy and gender equality. The winners were Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — Africa’s first elected female president — her compatriot, peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman of Yemen, a civil society campaigner.

The enormous role of women in the uprisings in the MENA region is undisputed. They faced verbal and physical abuse, violence, arrest and death just as their male counterparts. The transformation of these countries has been groundbreaking, and their participation is as important as ever. After the dust of the battle settles, will Arab societies remember to include women in the rebuilding of their countries?

 دانت اللجنة التنظيمية للثورة الشبابية الشعبية بصنعاء المجزرة التي ارتكبها اليوم علي عبد الله صالح ونظامه بحق المعتصمين المطالبين بإسقاط النظام سلميا في ميدان التغيير بصنعاء ، والتي راح ضحيتها أكثر من أربعين شهيد ، و200 جريح 

In what ways are women participating in the protests in Yemen? The leading force behind this movement are the students from Sana’a University. They are gathered in Al-Huriya Square (Freedom Square) in front of the University. Women and women’s organisations are participating in the demonstrations and supporting the demonstrators, they stay until late at night in Freedom Square. In general, the students are protecting the women who are demonstrating on the square. Women are not generally targeted by the security forces in the repression of the protests because there would be an outcry. One woman demonstrator was arrested and imprisoned a couple of weeks ago, but she was released after one night, because we protested. 

Pourquoi les musulmans ne peuvent-ils développer d'autres formes de protestation pour défendre l'honneur d'Aïcha [épouse du Prophète, elle est considérée comme la "Mère des croyants" par les sunnites, mais honnie par les chiites en raison de son attitude hostile à Ali, le quatrième calife, considéré comme le père du chiisme] ? La défense d'Aïcha justifie-t-elle vraiment l'explosion de tensions confessionnelles qui en est découlée au Koweït et ailleurs ? Au lieu de préparer le terrain pour des agressions et attentats entre sunnites et chiites dans certains pays de la région, on aurait pu se saisir de l'occasion pour attirer l'attention sur le sort des Aïcha contemporaines. Ainsi, l'Aïcha afghane, dont le magazine Time a fait sa fameuse une et à laquelle sa famille a coupé le nez. Dans ce même pays, les talibans mènent une guerre sans merci contre l'enseignement des filles : ils ont détruit, selon différents rapports, des dizaines d'écoles et ont menacé les familles qui continuaient de vouloir donner une éducation scolaire à leurs filles.

On 14 December 2010, human rights defenders Ms Tawakkol Karman, Ms Bushra Alsorabi and Mr Ali Hussain al-Dailami were physically assaulted during a peaceful protest in Sana'a, Yemen. 
Tawakkol Karman and Bushra Alsorabi are Chairperson and Executive Director respectively of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), an organisation which campaigns for freedom of the press and other human rights in Yemen. Ali Hussain al-Dailami is the executive director of the Yemeni Organization for the Defence of Democratic Rights and Freedom.

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