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Lamees Dhaif – Journalist, Bahrain

1. Were women’s roles in the Arab Spring more or less meaningful than men’s roles?

I cannot categorize the size of women’s roles according to the categorization of “men” versus “women.” But I can say clearly that the women in the Arab Spring transformed from being victims in the conflict, who used to cry fpr the bereaved, get sad and fear the future, to ones who became activists, who plan, move, and lead. Women moved to the front rows in such conflicts. 


2. Have the revolts of the Arab Spring improved the position of women’s rights in the region?

Actually, the uprising managed to undermine women’s rights. Women today are exposed to abuses and atrocities. The targeting of women has become very common on our journey for democracy. But, in my opinion, this is temporary. When we succeed in removing those corrupt regimes from our countries, we will succeed in developing more justice for women, and men as well.


3. How can the women of the Arab Spring turn this activism into long-term/sustainable gains? 

I think Arab women have revolted and become outspoken lately, and they would not go back to become silent again. It is difficult to persuade the prisoner who has rebelled and broke his/her cuffs to become silent. Arab women lived for so many years on the margin, and this will not happen again.


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