The Uprising of Arab Women
The Arab Spring raised hopes that women in the region would get more rights. They're now standing up for themselves. With Islamist parties winning elections, some fear that women's rights will be reduced again. By Andreas Gorzewski
Women all over the Arab world regularly fight for their rights. They have entered men's domains and are redefining their roles. In Tunisia, women took to the street against sexual abuse in September 2012. The protests came after a 27-year-old woman said she had been raped by policemen. Initially, the authorities treated her as a culprit, but later all legal proceedings against her were dropped
In May 2011, the first generation of female lawyers in Saudi-Arabia got ready for their career entry. Until then, the legal realm in the kingdom had been an exlusive men-only club. At the Dar-al-Hekma-college in Jiddah the future lawyers were prepared for what lay ahead of them - including everything that goes beyond applying paragraphs.
This picture shows Tawakkol Karman, a journalist and human rights activist from Yemen, giving a speech in Strasbourg in October 2012. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, together with two other women. Karman is a member of an Islamist movement. She also campaigns for the right of women to not wear the traditional facial veil.
These policewomen in Iraq - the picture shows them at a ceremony in 2009 to mark International Women's Day - wear both headscarves and police caps with their uniforms. One reason for Iraq to allow women into the police force was the fact that it's not acceptable for male police officers to search women during controls.
Wojdan Shaherkani was one of the first female athletes from Saudi Arabia to ever compete in the Olympic Games. In London, she was allowed to join the Judo competitions wearing a headscarf. She was criticized by hardline conservative groups in her home country. She didn't get past the first round in the competitions.
This picture shows Saudi journalists watching a handball match during the Asia Games in Jiddah. While there is strict gender separation in many public areas - such as sports - Saudi Arabia has now allowed female journalists to report about sports events.
Fatma Nabil became the first woman in September 2012 to present the news on Egypt's state television wearing a headscarf. The country's Islamist-dominated government scrapped the ban on headscarves in public news broadcast that had been in place for several decades.
In December 2011, Samira Ibrahim and others celebrated a ruling by a court in Cairo which banned the practice of submitting female prisoners to so-called virginity tests. The Egyptian army used this form of humiliation to demoralize female demonstrators during the protests against the ruling Military Council at the time.
Women in Morocco regularly take to the street to demand better protection and equality. In May 2012 demonstrators were horrified by the case of a 16-year-old who was forced to marry her rapist and who subsequently committed suicide. Morocco's laws allow culprits to avoid legal prosecution by marrying their victims.