Middle Eastern societies are characterized by patriarchal structures and men have traditionally had the formal power in most countries in the region. But there are women who have revolutionized and protested against power at various levels.
The girls on Revolutionsgatan took off their shawls in Iran
In Iran, Vida Movahed stood on an electrical cabinet and put her headscarf on a stick and waved it. Although she was arrested the same day, more women followed suit and made similar protests. They were called “The girls on Revolutionsgatan”.
Samira Ibrahim demanded a halt to the military’s innocence tests
During the Egyptian revolution, the military conducted abusive virginity tests on young women. But the young woman Samira Ibrahim took the military to court and the same year the military stopped conducting these tests. But at the same time as Samira Ibrahim was noticed for her brave struggle and broke the shame around the tests, the men who did the tests were freed.
Loujain al-Hathloul defied car ban in Saudi Arabia
In the past, women were banned from driving in deeply conservative Saudi society. But activist Loujain al-Hathloul and several other women drove a car anyway and were therefore jailed. Also hear about the mountain climber Nelly Attar who was one of the first Arab women to climb Mount Everest and start a women’s gym.
Aliaa Magda al-Mahdy staged nude protests
Egyptian activist Aliaa Magda al-Mahdy posted a nude photo on her blog in protest of violence and sexism, which led to mass reactions and a hate and threat campaign against her. She later also protested bare-chested, for example outside the Egyptian embassy in Sweden, where she lives in exile. Her methods have been considered very controversial.
Shireen Abu Akleh became the voice of the Palestinians
Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead in Jenin on the occupied West Bank in May 2022. As a woman and Palestinian, she revolutionized journalism by being a role model for generations of young women who dreamed of becoming journalists.
P1’s Middle East podcast draws attention to the women who in various ways have revolutionized the power structures in the Middle East:
Participants: Cecilia Uddén and Johan Mathias SommarströmMiddle East Correspondents, Samar Hadrousreporter at Ekot
Host: Olle Wiberg
Introduction: Johar Bendjelloul
Producer: Katja Magnusson
Technician: Tobias Carlsson
Source: ICELAND NEWS