إحدى أكبر مفاجآت الاحتجاجات السلمية التي اجتاحت اليمن في 2011 تمثلت في بروز مشاركة النساء في نداءات التغيير.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, and Justice for Iran are pleased to announce the release of a new publication: Mapping Stoning in Muslim Contexts. This report locates where the punishment of stoning is still in practice, either through judicial (codified as law) or extrajudicial (outside the law) methods.   

"The power of women is in their stories. They are not theories, they are real lives that, thanks to social networks, we are able to share and exchange," said Egyptian-American activist Mona el-Tahawey, kicking off a summit that brought more than a hundred of the Middle East's leading female activists together in Cairo.

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?

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