Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arab women

The interesting article in The Economist discusses the position of women in the post-revolutionary era in the Arab world, in particularly in Tunisia and Egypt. Nevertheless, the contribution and emancipation of women in Jasmin revolution has been instrumental in defending richly deserved civil liberties and grater human freedom. From now on, the main challenge of newly-emerged Arab societies is not only to lay solid foundationa of democratic institutions and governance but, nevertheless, to promote the political and economic empowermant of women since the transition to a vibrant civil sociaty can not be accomplished, by any means, without extending the virtues of human freedom to women. Recent political development in post-revolutionary Egypt suggests the opposite since women have been excluded from the commission on the drafting of the new constitution. Moreover, recent polls have shown that 60 percent of Egyptians believe that Sharia law sould be the ultimate legal system in the country. If that is the case, it would certainly jeopardize the prospects of bringing civil liberties to the very infancy of world's (hopfully) prospective democracies. What women of Jasmin revolution fear is the (yet) unlikely possibility that civil liberties would vanish. Nevertheless, the experience from Iraq suggests that even though women suffered badly during Saddam's rule it should not be forgotten that mostly prior to 1991 women were free to work, go to school and walk the streets unveiled. Moreover, in the early years of Baath rule women were declared equal under law and were required to attend literacy classes. Hopefully, the Arab spring shall correct the failures of the past while acknowledging its rather rare but vital virtues.