ADELE BUTLER – Women of Spirit: Of One Accord

 

 

 

 

 

The protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square are Women

 

 

This morning I was surprised to hear on The Current, a CBC radio program that most of the protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square are women. These women are showing courage. Egyptian women continue to play a crucial role in anti-government demonstrations that have shaken the country ( http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=185259215).

 

 

Women are seen holding up signs, carrying children, chanting and waving flags.

 

They may be dressed in veils and headscarves in keeping with their custom but they are crying out for change. They have set up tents, indicating that they are not leaving any time soon. They are there to show their solidarity. Young and old, professionals and housewives, rich and poor, wives, mothers, daughters and grandmothers have all converged on the square of one accord to call for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

In the square there are changes which may be foreshadowing a better Egypt. Men make room for the women. They don’t stare or touch them which were things that they would normally do. People are standing together. It seems that President Mubarak has unwittingly succeeded in bringing people together. One woman commented, “This is the future,” says the older woman. “A very good future for my children and grandchildren is beginning here on Tahrir Square” (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14834006,00.html).

I am pleased to see that women in Egypt have the right to protest and demand political reforms such as freedom of press and human rights. Women want democracy and change in their country and that’s why they are out there letting their voices be heard instead of being on the sidelines watching on. Some women were there with their husbands. One woman remarked that she finally felt safe in public. Apparently women faced extreme sexual harassment on the streets. They have also suffered economic hardships, social injustices and violence and want these things to end so that they can have the quality of life they envision for themselves and the future generation.

One woman protester was thinking of the future when she decided to show up and join in the chant for change. “If I wasn’t pregnant, I would’ve just stayed home.” Marwa Rakha told the Huffington Post by phone, explaining her attendance of the protests in Egypt while seven months pregnant. “I went out because of my baby. I owe this to him” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/02/egypt-women-protests_n_817822.html).

“Women’s participation here is unprecedented. I can safely say that the crowd is divided into half female, half male,” said Ms. Nehad Abul Komsan, head of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) (http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=26461).

I applaud these brave women who are standing up for what they believe in a country where women don’t typically have a public role. The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta characterizes Egypt as “a country in which men and women are barely tolerated holding hands in public in the most liberal precincts of comparatively Christian Alexandria, and where public displays of affections are frowned upon and likely to be met with cutting glances and vicious neighborhood gossip elsewhere.” But in the recent wave of protests in Egypt, women have been important contributors and have been accepted by their male counterparts (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/02/egypt-women-protests_n_817822.html).

In protesting, women have changed the tide. They have earned the acceptance of their men and the respect of the world. Let us continue to support them and to lift them up in our prayers. May they be blessed with the future they are courageously fighting for.

What great things we can achieve when we come together with one accord or with one mind or passion.

 

Adele Butler, 2011.

 

A Celebration of Women

Comments

  1. I get to see Adele in San Francisco and I’m soo excited. i just can’t wait! She is an amazing artist; she has inspired me to become a better singer and songwriter. Love, love, love her!! Can’t wait till her new album drops!

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