Feminist Anxieties in Revolutions

Author Bio: 

Fatima Moussawi is a researcher at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in Lebanon.

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Fatima Moussaoui. "Feminist Anxieties in Revolutions". Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research Vol. 5 شماره 3 (10 فوریه 2021): pp. -. (Last accessed on 20 ژوئن 2024). Available at: https://kohljournal.press/fa/node/277.

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ticking time

Carla Chidiac

Feminism is an evident entry point to revolutions – any revolution in any given place or time, and in the face of any kind of tyranny, even when it’s the product of its exact opposite. In the same vein, feminism, that characteristically pushes towards equality, can only be an absolute act of rebellion. Similarly, any act demanding equality and justice must have a feminist identity and impact. One cannot be mentioned without the other and one cannot eliminate the other. However, have revolutions always embraced women? Were women inspiring and being inspired by revolutions, or did revolutions just swallow them whole? Did revolutions push them forward or were they pushing revolutions forward? Did women collide with revolutions or did they walk alongside them? These questions may put forth a chaos of non-definitive concepts associating feminism to revolutions, but a series of revolutions that broke out in the Arab world exposed a certain crack between revolutions and women, between revolutions as they occur here, on this land, and feminism, between consecrating revolutions as a natural stage to confront tyranny at every ideological turn, and between celebrating feminism as a noticeable case that deserves attention and recognition at best. Has Arab Feminism become fearful of revolutions after the setbacks? Is it enough to examine the experiences of modern Arab revolutions to determine whether they have really let women down? Is it necessary to critique the feminist presence, at the same time parallel to and entwined with the rise of revolutions? Have the features of feminism in the Arab world become ambiguous? Ancient? Individualistic? We lack an experience deep and decisive enough to answer such questions and give a strong categorization despite the occurrence of almost two waves of the Arab Spring in less than a decade. We notice, however, that the development of the liberal rhetoric in the Arab region during the past decades and the unfolding of the three feminist waves in the Arab region have led to a rise in women’s interest in the political events of the revolution. They have also fleshed out women’s relationship with the regimes and their enablers, in addition to their relationship with the men involved in the revolution, the men repressing it, and the post-revolution regimes. The event must be observed from different angles because, for all its similarities, it does not bear a similar truth. In the mid-1990s, Valentine Moghadam (1995) classified the revolutionary movements, whether elitist, socialist, or populist, as either an equality-based model – or rather, a “model emanating from women” – or a patriarchy-based model – or rather a “model emanating from the family” (and based on these models, Moghadam carried out analysis on the Islamic revolutions in Iran, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the Eastern European revolution, and the French Revolution). Moghadam later said (2018) that in light of the current globalization, the rising Cold War, and the spread of feminist narratives, any revolutionary action or reaction where women and feminism do not constitute a fundamental part will fail on both the national and global levels. We shall further elaborate on this.

 Since the end of the nineteenth century and until today, women in Arabic-speaking countries were an essential pillar in the revolutions and pivotal political events that took place in their localities. And whereas women’s presence was often described in the historical narrative as “participation,” meaning that women were affiliated to the revolutionary or political action initiated by men, reality proved that women’s presence was actually more radical, guiding, and central than history has written, surpassing, in many cases men’s activism (Nelson, 1996). In the early years of the Egyptian revolution, Huda Sha’arawi and several other female Egyptian activists launched a movement against the British occupation that was linked to the political work of Saad Zaghloul and his revolutionary principles. The movement deeply impacted the Egyptian society, especially on the socio-political level, as it was marked by its intrinsic link to the emancipation of women (Barazi, 2016). Later on, the evolution of the liberal discourse, the rise of Islamism and communism, and the unfolding of different global feminist waves on the shores of the Middle East and North Africa, gave rise to many problematics related to the engagement of women in revolutions (Al Rifai, 2017). With the expansion of political Islam groups, the entrenchment of unilateral regimes, and other post-revolution stages, women activists were abandoned in the authority formation process in favor of their male partners or in favor of reproducing a fouloul system (regime remnants). In fact, women were the first to be sacrificed despite being the primary drivers of change (Sjoberg, 2015; Moussawi and Koujok, 2019).

In the Sudanese revolution for example, which erupted in 2018 to protest against the deteriorating political, economic, and living situation in the country, women emerged publicly and notably as leaders and key drivers of political activism in the country’s rebellious capital, cities, and rural areas. They were a comprehensive example that explained why women, before men, sense the need for change, and why women were leading protests, screaming at the top of their lungs, despite all challenges, stigmas, and consequences.1 For in a society ruled by the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood in its penultimate state, a woman forced to wear a white outfit, lower her voice, and keep to her house and work in the fields, is the most attentive to the need to revolt and rapidly end this system.2 For a system founded on economic discrimination against women is in essence based on social class oppression against both men and women with the use of social layers that promote otherwise, or at least conceal the truth. But the truth soon emerges, when it becomes difficult to disguise the signs of concern any further. Men become aware that these systems, which have worn out their mothers, sisters, and daughters in strenuous tasks with meager revenue, are actually systems that wanted to swallow everyone up, but their impact appeared first on those who seemed the weakest. Abdul Azim Funjan, an Iraqi poet, describes how women experienced the first repercussions of despotism: “they slap you at home, so I fall on the street.”3 Violence, exercised at home on the “weakest” element – the woman, signals the start of despotism and its expansion to subdue the rest of the society. This resonates in the case of Lebanon, leading to the collective awareness of the October 17 revolution in 2019. In Lebanon, personal status laws, labor laws, and penal codes restrain women, making them, with the connivance of men and other women,4 tenth-class citizens. It becomes clear that the system that allowed violence against women is the same one that destroyed the country’s institutions and economy, robbed men and women of their savings, stripped everyone, in all means possible, of their simplest rights and benefits, to finish them off, in equal absurdity, with its negligence and corruption.

Discussions related to women and Arab spring revolutions that erupted in 2011 reminded us that women’s activism is costly: we pay its exorbitant price with our bodies, emotions, and selves. In a society where a woman’s “honor” and “dignity” are associated to her body, systematically attacking her body and then her “reputation” becomes the first weapon used to oppress her.5 That is why the discussion must begin from this starting point, the costliest side of this issue, to grasp the suffering and consequences of the revolutionary existence of women in contexts where the authoritarian and occupational legacy of patriarchy is quite heavy. Syrian prisons, where the regime detained rebel women, tell of countless horrors and tragedies regarding women who were subjected to rape, humiliation, violation, and all kinds of abuse to the extent that drove some of them to pretend to be dead rather than return to their families after their liberation (if they were ever freed). The same applies to the practices of the extremist Islamist groups in the regions they seized, to a point where the practice of slavery was almost revived. In Egypt as well, when protests demanded the Military Council stop its interventions in the country, female protesters were dragged along the streets, forcibly stripped off of their clothes in front of cameras, and then taken to police stations where they underwent virginity tests that were as violating and invasive as any form of torture a political prisoner may be subjected to. Security apparatus are well aware of the impact of carrying out virginity tests in a society that carefully watches women’s moves and always hits them where it hurts most, their “honor.” Stories from Saudi prisons reveal that female activists such as Lujain Al Hathloul are repeatedly physically violated and abused under a regime that made sure that stories on women in its prisons come out only to frighten those on the outside. The same applies to the Bahraini revolution where Bahraini police attacked many female protesters and forced them to remove their veils on the street. It is an old and unchanged reality: rebel women are met with violation, exclusion, violence, and more despotism.6

Until her arrest in 1972, Malika Oufkir7 was not a political activist. She became a political prisoner, however, the moment her father, a former general, was killed following an attempt to topple the king. Oufkir recalls her years of detention in the underground prisons of King Hassan II and the numerous physical violations she suffered. Many male survivors also recalled their agonizing experiences during that difficult time of Moroccan history when young military men who took part in Al Sukhairat Coup were imprisoned in similar prisons.8 But these men’s experience, as horrific as it was, came short of the violations that women, even non-political ones, were subjected to in prisons. The Arab history abounds with stories not restricted to the regimes’ enablers, but including those of the colonialist powers who have gravely violated women rebels such as Djamila Bouhired who suffered from extreme violence and abuse in French prisons, along with her fellow female citizens, and was raped and detained in Tifelfel prison in Aurès, designed to punish women rebelling against French colonialism.9

Women in our regions are entrenched in the revolutionary work, whether they like it or not. However, the sustainable nature of the social oppression regime must implode via those who are most exposed to the oppressive tools of the regime. Therefore, from the very beginning of the Arab Spring, women were at the forefront of revolutionary action, on both the practical and theoretical levels. Women were, side-by side with the men, leading intellectually stimulating demonstrations, calling for them, reporting related events to the nations and countries of the world, and using non-traditional media platforms. They served food and medicine, and defended detainees of all genders. Women were at the heart of the political and intellectual clash that took place in different arenas, a scene that came as a surprise for many observers who, for a long time, thought that Arab women were far from the revolutionary stage and were mere receivers of change rather than inducers of change (Coleman, 2011; Kiwan, 2015). And despite the fact that women are the makers of the world, western observers always regarded them as powerless. While these ideas are instigated in part by the deteriorating state of women’s rights and practices, women’s absence from the international scene is imputable to the marginalization often exercised against women after or even during revolutionary work. Women were sidelined despite their presence and impact, and were the first losers post-revolution (Kiwan, 2015; Moussawi and Koujok, 2019). Islamic organizations gathered and expanded their power following political disturbances where only organized groups could hold on and succeed (Holdo, 2017). The west, through its academic institutions, media, and modern and ancient orientalist figures, invested in a marginal and flat understanding of women in our contexts. Their realities and role are minimized either by reducing women’s rebellion to icons and narratives produced along NGOized modes of action, or through shedding light on the personal stories of a certain women while obscuring the context of their insurgence. One of the most obvious examples of this is that of Malala Yousafzay, a truly courageous young woman, a hero of her country (Pakistan) and culture, and of feminism and humanity everywhere. However, the international media focused on her enmity with the Taliban that brutally shot her, without any narrative on the reality of occupation and its consequences in Pakistan. It was a misrepresentation of deeply rooted injustice for Pakistani and non-western women in general. Numerous other examples are witnessed throughout the East and our region.

Nine years ago, women in several Arabic-speaking countries took to the streets, some of whom were later thrown in jails, demanding socio-political change and the ousting of decade-old regimes. But their change-focused actions and political identity came at the expense of their physical, emotional, and psychological security. We observed the same phenomenon at the end of 2018 and at the beginning of 2019 in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, and Iraq. Women were the first to take to the streets as instigators, supporters, and leaders of the uprisings that overtook said countries despite crackdowns and interference methods, the sharp deterioration of the economic situation, and the continuous evolution of gender-based-violence and oppression that accompanied the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Djamila Bouhired, the fierce activist well-known to French courts, also took part in the demonstrations against Boutafliqa’s rule and candidacy to a fifth mandate. Once a comrade in the liberation action against French colonization, and later a self-appointed Algerian revolutionary president entrusted with protecting the Algerian revolution after its black decade, Bouteflika is now rejected by her and her fellow female citizens who have packed the streets, chanting slogans against him and any other proposed military alternative.10 To see Djamila Bouhired demonstrating against Boutafliqa in 2019 could be understood as the following statement: “you have stolen our shared old revolution, excluded us – your fellows and comrades – and stripped your rule of our revolutionary principles; you are nothing more than a corrupt element no different than the colonizers and you must go!” Before that, precisely after the tortuous journey of the Algerian revolution ended with the liberation of Algeria from French colonization, discords and eliminations intensified between the generals of the revolution (its men). It destroyed many ideals of equality and justice voiced by the revolution and cost women their position and rights, ultimately leading to civil war and the start of the decade known as the “black decade” (given the horrific political and security events it saw). Women paid the heftiest price. They were subjected to the most horrific assassinations, rapes, and killings in case they did not yield to the strict laws imposed by political Islamist groups represented by the Islamic Salvation Front (which challenged the political regime after the army overturned the election results in order to prevent Islamists from acceding to power). Women who were completely involved in the fights, such as prisoners, protesters, and women who buried landmines, distributed leaflets and were a prime cause to the French withdrawal from the country. Those women were stripped of their political, civil, and social rights in an era branded with fear and regression to square one (Salhi, 2003; 2010).

What’s noticeable about the strong presence of Algerian women in the 2019 movement is that it was the first political movement of such a scale after continuous efforts made by women to regain some of their political position after the end of the “black decade” in 2002. It was also by that time that a new regional feminist movement emerged and focused mainly on consecrating civil, political, and gender rights and on relying on education, amendments, and advocacy to change any reality based on inequality. Concurrently, women in multiple Arab states were ready to enter legal fights in order to establish equality and end different forms of violence. While some of them had sought to examine post-colonial propositions, discuss gender theories, propose social and right-based alternatives, and head towards a critical process to different forms of social and political patriarchies, Algerian women were lagging behind. Algerian women who had engaged in the bloodiest revolutions against colonial rule in the history of North Africa were trying hard to recover their existence after a haunting decade of terror and annihilation.

Iman Emara (2018) argues that the Algerian feminist movement is distinctive in view of the length of the colonial period, which delayed the rise of a feminist movement, and gave rise to conservatism and identity-preservation crisis in the face of colonization. These dynamics compelled Algerian women to stick to their male counterparts and prevented them from facing many dominant values for fear this may represent a “cultural and social” assistance to the colonial rule over the “national traditions and identity.” The latter is a conflict that could not be separated from the conflict between the Arab and French cultures that occurred after the liberation of Algeria. The 2019 revolution was fueled by a strong popular and feminist drive by the women who had had their fair share of marginalization, procrastination, and ever slow deterioration and recovery for years, trapped (because of the “black decade”) between two poles: Islamism (Islamic Salvation Front) and democracy, “ironically represented by the army” (Salhi, 2003; 2010). Their involvement in the 2019 revolution decried corruption and took a stance against the obstruction of their continuous attempts to criticize the human rights situation and mend civil and political violations. It was a new birth for them.

Egypt was not among the countries that saw grand protests in the organizational sense of the word among the 2019 revolutions. But seeing Layla Sweif, the mother of Alaa Abdel Fattah and his sisters, Mona and Sanaa Seif, wait before Tora prison where he was detained and struggle to send him letters and medicines resonated in Egypt and the region. It brought back to mind the historic presence of the Egyptian woman in the 2011 revolution. At that time, women had been determined to defy the police oppressing regime since 2013, despite everything they had been subjected to and despite the kidnapping of the second daughter, Sanaa. With the continuous detention of numerous women activists, namely Mahinoor al Masry, the movement consecrated the presence of the Egyptian woman since the January revolution until today as a frontliner against despotism despite the different currents and political ideologies that traversed Egypt. This activity was not restricted to a political identity aimed against direct authoritarian tools, but it accompanied, instigated, and rose awareness against violence, harassment, and rape in Egypt. Women are aware that such a system represents an authoritative tool and alternative military hand. In the first protests against Mubarak, harassment was a tactic designed to scare women away rather than an event which women had to face during the protests and beyond in their systematic daily struggles. That awareness significantly exposed the patriarchal authoritarian practices that followed for a whole decade, expressed today through cases related, first and foremost, to a woman’s body and her right to be present in the public space. As a result, recent campaigns, such as the harasser denunciation campaign, pointed to the Fairmont rape crime and the defense campaign of women who appeared on Tik Tok. If we look at the revolutionary feminist presence and feminist organizations in Egypt since the beginning of the previous century, we would find many instances where Egyptian and Arab women have sparked revolutions and created political movements historically promoted as “male-made.” Egyptian women’s leadership and pioneering of the 1919 revolution highly surpassed what was later recounted. The feminist movement saw its first decisive meanings in that critical period of Egypt’s history through the radical political action undertook by Hoda Sha’arawi, Safia Zaghloul, Siza Nebrawi, and others. Many female martyrs fell for the Egyptian feminist movement back then, namely Shafika Mohamed, Aicha Omar, Najiya Ismail, and Fahima Riyad who, along other female students, broke into the headquarters of the British High Commissioner in protest against the detention of Saad Zaghloul. But despite the unprecedented involvement of women in the revolution, tensions grew between Saad Zaghloul and Hoda Sha’arawi, pioneering feminist, when statements were made in her name without prior consultation and due to the monopoly of many decision-making aspects of the Wafd party. That incident may be one of the first representations of the tense relationship in revolutions that are monopolized and controlled by men in Egypt and beyond (Shaʻrāwī, 1987).

Following the 1919 revolution, pivotal milestones involved women at the heart of the protests that spread throughout the monarchy, the socialist Nasiri movement, down to Sadat’s rule. At that time, Egypt’s economy, politics, and society witnessed a shift from socialism to neoliberalism, in parallel with a rise in Islamist ideology. Then came Mubarak’s rule, followed by the January revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood, and finally Sissi’s reign (Barazi, 2016). Women’s major role appears to be insufficient to protect her from the consequence of being erased. Women, once again, had to rebel against revolution they were sidelined from, despite being their fundamental driving force (Golley, 2004; Moussawi and Koujok, 2009).

As we already mentioned, the most revolutionary and liberal emergence of the Egyptian woman was under the reign of King Fouad I (back then Sultan Fouad). This emergence was consolidated during the 1919 revolution which saw a pursuit to liberate women on the scientific, social, religious, and cultural levels, as a means to combat occupation. Some say that even before that, Egyptian women had an undeniable role in the Urabi revolt and the combat against French military campaign. The 1919 movement was led by Huda Sha’arawi who founded the Egyptian Feminist Union and later recalled the influence of Qassem Amin’s thoughts. Amin had discussed Niqab, the veil, personal space, and political space, thus opening the door to discussions about gender inequality in what was back then considered a “controversial” book, Liberating Women. Under King Farouk, many women activists with academic backgrounds took part in the political and revolutionary work in defiance of legal and institutional structures as well as the British occupation of Egypt. Women were strongly present in the protests called by the National Committee of Students and Workers in 1946 against the deteriorating economic situation and the British meddling in Egypt’s political and economic affairs. These protests, in which tens of thousands participated, were met with violence and sparked public outrage, a hostility that was inherent to the monarchy until the end of its rule in 1952. In the mid-forties, Doria Shafik founded the “Daughter of The Nile” association to challenge the cultural structures that obstructed women’s access to education. The association encouraged girls’ education in Cairo’s poorest neighborhoods and called upon Egyptian women to take political action against the British sway that was also increasing. Later on, during a protest she led in 1951 (the year before the July revolution), along with 1500 women that gathered in the American University of Cairo, she was able to break into the Egyptian Parliament and claim political and civil rights, starting with the right to vote and run for elections. Doria Shafik said to her colleagues when they gathered: “this is not a gathering, this is a protest” (Nelson, 1996). Before the end of the Monarchy, the association also stormed into a British bank to protest the British intervention in the country’s banking and financial affairs. The attempt, despite its failure, marked the first feminist action towards obtaining civil and political rights within the country. Doria Shafik and her colleagues continued their struggle until they obtained their demands in 1956 under Jamal Abdel Nasser. The July revolution occurred without women, and was described as the non-women revolution. We can only imagine what a revolution without women could be, and therefore ask: was the transformation that took place truly revolutionary? And supposing the event was a legitimate coup, didn’t women pave the way through their revolutionary actions, just like men in the forties? It is a “revolution where the military toppled the monarchy,” putting an end to the rule of Mohamad Ali’s dynasty. In light of that revolution, Egyptian women played many new roles that relatively improved their condition. Nationalization and the rise of the working class alleviated both men and women economically, especially in rural areas, particularly due to land allocation and the consecration of free mandatory education to girls and boys alike. Back then, most of the civil and political rights already claimed by Doria Shafik were obtained after strenuous efforts. The “daughter of the Nile Union” turned into a political party in a phase where the regime showed it adopted feminism as part of its reformative identity. But it is also worth mentioning that the relationship between the feminist activist and Nasser was marred by many problems. She criticized his political performance and was subsequently put under house arrest, even though she had upheld the same demands as Nasser in his reformative national rhetoric. Despite the socialist aspects of those founding years, the force that Nasser used to counter anyone who disagreed with his rule led to a grave deterioration of freedoms, especially with the detention of leftist and Islamist activists. Zeinab Al Ghazali, an Islamist activist and member of the society of Muslim Brothers, documented that Nasser had detained over two hundred Muslim Brotherhood female activists in 1965 in fear of rebuilding a brotherhood force. The same goes for female members of the communist party.11

Under Sadat, and with Egypt’s new economic policies, to US strives to “make peace with and get close to Israel,” the scene became incredibly mosaicked. On the one hand, the economy moved to open capitalism under globalization as a political ideology. On the other, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi Salafists influenced increasing conservatism. Consequently, women in navigated the flow of fatwas and Islamic agenda that stood vehemently against everything Sadat represented and promoted. And despite Sadat’s promises of economic prosperity after Egypt's conversion from socialism to capitalism and closeness to the United States, his government adopted many austerity measures, including cancelling subsidies on basic goods, which ultimately led to the Bread Revolution. In that uprising in particular, women had a great impact. Both men and women were detained, especially those of leftist and communist backgrounds. Shahenda Maklad, an Egyptian feminist activist, recalls women’s sufferings under a regime that displayed a facade of freedom, but that fell back on to its oppressive methods anytime anyone uttered a disagreement over substantial policies. Many women detainees were members of the Nasseri movement. And while “state feminism” had started in the days of Nasser, it prospered during the days of Suzanne Mubarak in an attempt to restrict women’s affairs to family affairs. After Egyptian feminists stood in the face of vicious colonialism, the main subjects of debate now revolved around khul’ divorce and “humanitarian charitable” feminist action. Not to undermine any rights achievement made by the feminist movement back then, but this clearly shows the intentions of state feminism and how it associated trivial issues with feminist action in the collective conscience. But allocating generous budgets to women councils with bogus agendas did not deter women from the goal; rather, they better understood the risk of these procedures. Between 2005 and 2006, women organized massive protests and union strikes unseen since the forties to oppose Mubarak’s economic policies. These phases all explain the great accumulation leading women’s involvement in the January 2011 revolution. Women from all walks of life took part in toppling the regime, paving the way towards a social vigilance with enough courage to face men at home and in the streets.

It is also worth mentioning that women’s revolutionary awareness in the 2011 and 2019 revolutions was not exclusively political or legal, but rather stemming from the deteriorated living and economic conditions, which also pushed women at the forefront, just like in Sudan (Moussawi, 2019) and in Egypt’s history. It was also the reason that drove women in rural and agricultural areas to adopt the revolution despite psychological and social barriers. With the Egyptian economy’s turn towards capitalism and men’s emigration to the Gulf countries, women’s lifestyles, responsibilities, and breadwinning ways changed. More pressures were put on them and they became ready to work for petty wages in informal and unorganized professions without insurance or guarantees, which created a new class of oppression and resentment. All these factors combine to push women to fuel the revolution without leading to a well-shaped collective feminist movement at the scale of the current revolutions. Disturbances therefore take place during or at the start of authority formation processes.

The presence of women in the revolutions of the MENA did not necessarily entail a visible clash similar to what was seen in grand capitals or before central prisons and military detention centers (the military usually forcibly fills any authority voids). It goes farther than that. Feminism is a state of revolution inside a revolution, along with the revolution itself. It is taking its final forms and shapes in an attempt to protect its existence as an existential, not a transformative, revolutionary act. Feminism does not abide to any cover-up, bargain, or revolutionary sanctity. Women continue to challenge total authority, unjust rule, barren constitution, oppressive revolutionary partners, whispers against their intellect or body within a demonstration to topple the regime: it creates a revolution that protects itself from some of its founding fathers who would neither tolerate oppositions nor dabble in disturbances. Women revolted in their daily lives; they also revolted against prior revolutions, against a former partner in struggle, against the mockery of those holding great political aspirations. Here lies the invisible clash between women and everything that aims to keep them excluded, marginalized, maimed, and stigmatized. For women who have accepted the revolution as an endless act are most capable of predicting and understanding how oppression is re-produced time and time again. For they have known it for so long, overseen its first steps, learned its many faces, and laid it to rest in its final breaths.

  • 1. A talk held by the “United Nations News” with female activists in the Sudanese revolution: “Sudan’s women and post-revolution issues: A talk with activists Alaa Salah and Safaa Al Aqeb.”
  • 2. Based on a text written by Rabiha Al Sudaniya in As-Safir Al-Arabi in 2019: “The Distinct Role of Sudanese Women in in Current Demonstrations” and on another text by Nour Alwan in Noon Post: “Women in Sudan. A Revolution Icon Fighting to Gain its Political Status.”
  • 3. Extract from the Iraqi Poet’s poem: “An attempt to punch the world in the nose” from the collection Love according to Baghdad’s calendar.
  • 4. Inspired from a text by Richard Hall “Women at the Heart of the Revolution in Lebanon,” Independent Arabia.
  • 5. Based on an article by Halima Kaakour in the Lebanese daily An-Nahar: “Do Women Deserve Punishment for Participating in the Political Life?”
  • 6. Based on a series of articles and tweets published since 2011 about the sexual, physical, and emotional assaults women are subjected to in the Revolution and the price paid by women who participated in Arab revolutions.
  • 7. This testimony is based on Malika Oufkir’s memoirs told in her books La Prisonnière and Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, in addition to the memoirs of her mother Fatima Al Chana, The King’s Gardens.
  • 8. Based on the statements of Ahmad Marzouki, a survivor from Tezmamart’s political prison.
  • 9. Based on television interviews broadcasted on Canal Algérie with elderly female survivors from the prison who recalled what they were subjected to.
  • 10. From a news script on an Algerian political website: “Djamila Bouhired leads Algeria to revolt on Boutafliqa.”
  • 11. Reviews from the rule of Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak, titled: “How did Egypt violate its women since the establishment of the Republic and until today?”

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