As 2011 draws to a close, we at MMW are looking back at our year of posts. For those who missed posts earlier in the year, or for those who want to look back through some of the things we wrote about, we’ll be going through some of those through the rest of this week. Today, we’re starting off with an overview of some of the news highlights that we talked about in 2011; tomorrow will look at books, movies, and television; and Friday will look at some of the more ridiculous stories that came up, as well as the many post on our “favourite” topic, hijab.
It’s no surprise that the Arab Spring got quite a bit of attention on MMW this year. Tasnim followed many of the stories, from the early days of analysing the participation of women in Tunisia’s revolution and women’s voices in Egypt and Libya, coverage of Libya’s Eman al-Obeidi, and participation of women in Libya’s new government. Sara Yasin looked critically at representations of Arab first ladies, and Sana took down Vogue Magazine’s coverage of Asma al-Assad. We interviewed MMW’s own contributors Eman and Yusra about their respective personal experiences with the revolutions in Egypt and Libya. As many countries have moved into phases of building new governments, Sana looked at reactions to the election of the Islamist party Ennahda in Tunisia, while Eman analysed the focus on women’s clothing in Egypt’s elections.
In other news, Eman looked at the politics of Western intervention in the case of Sakineh Ashtiani, and Safiyyah analysed the Muslim marriage bill in South Africa. After Osama bin Laden’s death, Sara Yasin looked at media representations of his wife, while Lara was frustrated with how Jezebel talked about his daughter. Alicia criticised a proposal in Kuwait for Muslim men to be able to take female sex slaves. Sara Haji wrote about an article on same-sex marriages among Muslims in the UK, and Diana later covered a report on broader issues concerning queer Muslims in the US. Women’s issues in Saudi Arabia came up several times, with Eman writing about women’s struggles for the right to vote and the coverage of Manal Al-Sharif, and Samya looking at the role of social media in the campaign to allow women to drive. Eren wrote about neighbourhoods in Canada where South Asian families live while the husbands and fathers work in the Gulf. Sara Haji questioned the representation of the woman who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape, while Fatemeh questioned the victim-blaming involved in media coverage of the story. Sara Yasin analysed the representation of Texas politician Farha Ahmed. In following the ongoing coverage of the Shafia murder trial in Canada, Diana looked at how media sources and legal teams on all sides manipulated religious ideas to make their point, and Eren looked at the statements about domestic violence that were made by Muslim leaders.
Check back tomorrow and Friday for summaries of some of the other things we wrote about this year!