Tuesday, January 25th, 2011: the day thousands of Egyptians—Christians and Muslims, men and women, young and old—lined the streets of Tahrir Square in non-violent, civil-resistance in attempt to overthrow the regime of then President, Hosni Mubarak.
A year later, Wikipedia hosts a page titled “2011 Egyptian Revolution;” Egyptians mourn the loss of their sons, brothers, and husbands; and Americans have moved on to follow the never-ceasing Republican debates with hardly an indication of Egypt on their radar.
On the other hand, as the newly, democratically elected Egyptian Parliament convenes, citizens once again swell around Tahrir square. This has been deemed a moment of renewed uprising against the military council, a remembrance of the 1,000 protestors killed over the past year, and a celebration of the move forward. Meanwhile, news sources have gone to task speculating about the state of women in Egypt post-revolution.
Preoccupation with the future of Egyptian women and how women’s status might be impacted as a result of the recent elections has prompted extensive coverage on the issue in the past week. The analysis is varied, perhaps as much as the opinions of Egyptian women regarding their current status or impending fate under the new Parliament.
There are largely two camps of opinions amongst media speculators regarding the progress, or lack thereof, made in the past year and what the newly elected, “conservative” government envisages for the future of women’s rights in Egypt.
Some are cynical, or perhaps just prudent, drawing on the stagnancy—in some cases regression—regarding women rights in the past year, as an ominous sign of things to come. Others are optimistic, saying instead that the mere placement of women in the public sphere of Egypt’s civic life is indicative of a new way forward for women. [Read more...]