An interesting biproduct of the post-election demonstrations in Iran has emerged; the women of Iran–many of whom have bravely and openly protested in the streets alongside men–have become an inspiration to other women in the region–such as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. They have, in essence, advanced the role and concerns of women in the middle east without directly discussing women’s issues.
The Sunday Washington Post has a front page story examining the the role of women in the demonstrations.
The article states: “As Iran’s theocracy appears on the verge of silencing the biggest challenge to its authority since it was established in 1979, female activists in the region say they are inspired by the prominent role women are playing in the country’s opposition movement. Many hope it will have a crossover effect on the struggle for women’s rights in their own countries and help shatter Western perceptions of Middle Eastern women as subjugated in a male-dominated culture.
In interviews outside the gates of Cairo University and in cafes last week, a dozen young Egyptian women expressed solidarity with Iran’s female protesters. They had all heard about Agha Soltan’s death and expressed outrage and sympathy.”