International Women’s Issues: The Potential Challenge to Women’s Rights in Tunisia

Before we get in to this week’s column, I’d like to congratulate Saving Face, a documentary about acid attacks in Pakistan, for winning an Oscar last night. I strongly hope the success of this film brings attention (and, you know, funding) to the prevention of acid attacks and support to people who are survivors of this horrific phenomenon.

This week, I’m going to look at women’s rights over the past year in Tunisia. It’s been over a year since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of government corruption and oppression, sparking revolutions throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and causing the ousting of, at current count, four dictators. As the Arab Spring started in Tunisia, that’s where we’ll be examining today, especially because of both the role women played in the revolution, and the promises that were made in terms of women’s rights in that country a year ago. How many have been kept? Are women better off in Tunisia now than they were eighteen months ago? Read More International Women’s Issues: The Potential Challenge to Women’s Rights in Tunisia

The Girls Of Egypt Are Here: 10,000 Women Protest Egypt’s Abuse

Trigger warning: images of violence aimed at women.

Women protesters have been rounded up and subjected to horrific abuse. Journalists have been sexually assaulted.  And now women are being attacked, stripped and beaten in the streets. This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonours the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people ““ Hillary Clinton Read More The Girls Of Egypt Are Here: 10,000 Women Protest Egypt’s Abuse

We Can’t all be Gandhi: In Support of Violent Resistance

Want to wear out a metaphor with me? The Arab Spring. It’s turned into Fall, or was it Winter? Or is it now raining blood? Were the leaves falling from the trees of the dictatorships or were the good men and women of the Arab world readying for holiday? Maybe it was the one with armed resistance sharpening it’s #2 pencils for winter exams. Read More We Can’t all be Gandhi: In Support of Violent Resistance

Despotic Tactics Reign in Syria

Damascus must fall. This seems to be the reigning sentiment of most Syrians. For the revolution to be successful, the large and ancient city must revolt. But this is much easier said than done, and at the very least, residents of Damascus can expect plain-clothed security thugs, bribes for the impoverished to support the president, and possibly hundreds of deaths. These despotic tactics, some of which are already being deployed in the suburbs and towns across the country, have so far been rarely deployed in downtown Damascus. Read More Despotic Tactics Reign in Syria

Sanctions in Syria

In a mostly symbolic move, the United States has drawn up new sanctions against the government of Syria. It is an attempt to condemn the rash of violence and mass arrests sweeping the country without having to actually call for Bashar al Assad to step down from his post as “President.” Read More Sanctions in Syria