The Arab Spring: Women’s Rights at Stake
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:10 PM

One of the issues facing various countries of the Arab Spring is the matter of women’s rights. Whether a country has succeeded in holding democratic elections, such as Tunisia; or is still in the midst of opposing a repressive government, such as Syria; women’s rights remains at the center of debate.

In Tunisia, which recently held democratic elections, activists remain concerned about possible threats to women’s rights. Currently, Tunisia has one of the highest standards of living for women in the Arab World. However, activists are anxious about the fragile status of women as the country transitions to democracy, stressing the importance of including women in the rebuilding process of the country.

In Libya, activists are calling upon the interim transitional government to include a gender component ensuring the representation and participation of women in the reconstruction process. Peace-building analysts from various countries convened at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in order to advise the United Nations on incorporating this gender goal in Libya.

In Syria, women play a major role in highlighting the human rights abuses occurring in the country. Women have monitored the human rights situation and led the struggle for freedom. However, Syrian women have also been victims of violence of the regime. Many have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, kidnapping, torture, and murder. By drawing attention to these abuses, activists hope to gain global attention and condemnation on the current crisis in Syria.

Compiled from: In the New Tunisia, Women’s Rights are in Play (4 November 2011), Tunisia’s Women Fear Veil over Islamists Intentions in First Vote of Arab Spring (16 October 2011), Libya: Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya (27 October 2011), Women Peace Activists Call for Women’s Participation in Libya’s Reconstruction Process (27 October 2011), Syrian Women’s Rights Activist Wins Award (18 October 2011), New Evidence of Syria Brutality Emerges as Woman’s Mutilated Body is Found (4 October 2011).