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February 7th, 2011

Dept. of The World is Watching

Women in Tahrir Square


I've felt a certain ambivalence as I've watched coverage of the Egyptian revolution (I think it qualifies as a revolution; I have no idea whether it will be a successful one, or what success actually means in this case.)

Despite what appears to be broad support for the aims of liberation from Mubarek's dictatorship, I saw little evidence of meaningful support by women. It could have been there, but it wasn't initially reported on, and there were precious few pictures with women in them - as opposed, say, to the Iranian protests, where women appeared to be integral to and active in, the fight.

Eventually coverage of women's role in the Egyptian events started to emerge, as did pictures recording that role. But I still wasn't confident that, in a country where even public displays of affection between men and women can be potentially dangerous, any revolution would include or serve women.

So I was heartened to see this essay, courtesy of the Women's Media Center, from Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi. 

ETA: This page features a remarkable collection of pictures, from various photographers and compiled by Leil-Zahra Mortada.