In order to fully understand what is happening in both Tunisia and Egypt, it is crucial to understand both the role of women in the uprisings and how the political turmoil in both countries is impacting women’s lives.
Several pieces have been written about Tunisia, here and here that shed some light. Iranian women activists have also published a very inspiring letter of support for women in Tunisia, which reads in part,
We are particularly interested and concerned with the impact of these developments on women’s rights and women’s equality. We recognize that Tunisian women’s rights activists have not forgotten their struggle and their major achievements for women’s rights. Tunisian women’s rights activists should know that what they manage to accomplish in their quest for democracy and the equality of women will significantly impact the region and serve as a model for us all. Today, a gain for the women of Tunisia is a gain for all the nations in the region and for all women in Islamic countries. So today, like the people of Tunisia, we harbor much hope.
We hope that key actors will not compromise on women’s rights, and that women are involved fully in the process of defining the future of a democratic Tunisia. We hope that Tunisian citizens will not only safeguard their achievements with respect to women’s rights, but take steps to ensure the full equality of women under the law, and their equal participation in civic and political life. We hope that the achievements of the Tunisian people will work to inspire all the nations and peoples of our region to take concrete steps toward ensuring the rule of the people by the people, the protection of the rights of women and the equality of all citizens.
Regarding Egypt, Echidne of the Snakes has a thought provoking essay reminding us that not everyone fairs equally well in the aftermath of revolutions and that it is not yet known whether the changes will be beneficial to women and Amy Goodman has this excellent interview with Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi:
See also this earlier piece on FPN. I will update this post as further analysis and information becomes available regarding women and the changes taking place in Egypt as well as Tunisia.