The Real War on Women is in the Middle East

by: Blaine Skrainka

April 26, 2012

Mona Eltahawy, Foreign Policy

To have any kind of real understanding of the Arab Awakening, we must look to the role of women and challenge the word “revolution.” In the West, we tend to idolize the struggle for democracy, and rightly so, but that is no excuse to overlook the egregious misogyny pervasive across the Middle East, including institutionalized oppression by regimes that the United States continues to support.

In an affecting piece in Foreign Policy, Mona Eltahawy bluntly asks, “Why do they hate us?” Eltawahy makes clear that a true revolution cannot begin until the “litany of abuses fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion” against women are confronted head-on. And this protest is not reserved for just autocratic despots, but rightly calls out all members of society participating or complacent in the marginalization of Arab women.

Her words are more striking than anything I can say, so check the full text here.

The Arab uprisings may have been sparked by an Arab man, but they will be finished by Arab women.”
Mona Eltahawy, Foreign Policy

Mona Eltahawy, Foreign Policy

Mona Eltahawy, Foreign Policy

Related: Tahrir Woman and Naked Defiance

Update: Al Jazeera hosts debate on women’s rights & activist journalism with Mona Eltahawy, author of ‘Why Do They Hate Us?’

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