Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Women in Egypt’s Front Line


By Mahnaz Afkhami

A new day has dawned in Egypt. The dictator has been brought down. Euphoria is in the air. How will women fare as euphoria yields to reality?

During the past several days, I have kept in touch with our partners in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. They all agree that Egypt forecasts their destiny. They are enthusiastic and their exuberance is contagious.

Having lived through Iran’s 1979 revolution that dashed the hopes of millions, I was skeptical about Egypt’s prospects for a peaceful transition to participatory democracy. And I know revolutions are heady experiences, especially for the young, and especially for young women in repressive Middle Eastern countries. The Cairo air now shimmers with possibility, just as the air of Tehran once did.

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