Monday, July 15, 2013

The Uprising of Women in the Arab World
انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي

Here is another more contemporary map we encountered as graffiti on a wall in downtown Beirut representing the Arab World as the hair of a woman. It is the symbol of the group called "The Uprising of Women in the Arab World" or انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي in Arabic.

The group unites activists throughout the Arab world and began in 2011 with the political mobilization of the Arab Spring. Its Facebook group has over 100,000 members. The group's description is as follows on the English side of their website:

"It was an urgent reaction to the social and political developments in the region because we didn’t want the Arab Spring to be aborted. From Tunis to Egypt to Libya to Syria to Yemen to Bahrain…, the Arab revolts are led in the name of dignity, justice and freedom, but we cannot reach for those values if women are being ignored or absented from the main scenery.
United under the slogan “Together for free, independent and fearless women in the Arab world!”, the demands of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World are:
- Absolute freedom of thought, of expression, of belief or disbelief, of movement, of body, of clothing, of lodging, of decision making, of marriage or non-marriage;
- The right to autonomy, to education, to work, to divorce, to inheritance, to vote, to eligibility, to administrate, to ownership and to full citizenship;
- Familial, social, political and economical absolute equality with men;
- The abolishment of all laws, practices and fatwas violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as excision, stoning, lashing, the laws acquitting rapists or tolerating crimes of “honor”;
- Protection against domestic violence, sexual harassment and all forms of physical and psychological abuse and discrimination facing women today in the Arab world and beyond.
The campaign of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World aims to:
1- Highlight the various kinds of discrimination against women in the Arab world (social, economical, political, judiciary…). Being aware of the injustice we are subject to is the first step to counter it.
2- Pin out the fact that women in our region share many struggles. We could then create a common ground for feminist activism, overcoming the borders of the states and building on from each other’s experiences.
3- Re-open the debate in the social media on women’s conditions, especially that women have suffered lots of attacks after the success of the revolts of the Arab Spring countries.
The revolutions that made our heart pound and filled us with hope for each and every Arab country while getting rid of dictatorships must continue. We must now get rid of patriarchy that authorizes each man to be a dictator, whether with his sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter, or even his own mother… We, women and men together, must continue revolting against oppression and put forward our feminist demands. We will not accept any priorities imposed on us, we will not practice self-censorship and we will not compromise on our rights.
Let the Arab Spring continue until it does with women what spring does with the cherry trees."