Introduction

Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, four Arab women have launched a campaign titled "The Uprising of Women in the Arab World," aimed at gaining "freedom, independence and security" for Arab women. The campaign promotes gender equality in accordance with the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls to grant women freedom in the domains of expression, thought, schooling, employment, and the freedom to dress as they please, as well as political rights. The campaign's Facebook page[1] features the full text of the Human Rights Declaration in Arabic, and there is also an official Twitter account.[2]

The campaign, which was launched online on October 1, 2012, has so far received the support of over 55,000 men and women from around the world, including prominent women activists such as 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman; Egyptian physician and writer Dr. Nawal Al-Sa'adawi; Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian activist who exposed the virginity checks performed by an Egyptian military doctor on female protestors during the revolution; Saudi women's rights activist Manal Al-Sharif; and Tunisian actress Hend Sabry.

At the suggestion of the campaign organizers, supporters have uploaded images of themselves holding up signs explaining why they back the campaign (see below). The supporters express protest over the patriarchal character of Arab society and the attitudes that objectify women and regard them as servants of their husbands and families; over the oppression of women and discrimination against them, and over such phenomena as child marriages, sexual abuse and harassment, and female circumcision. It should be mentioned that among the supporters who have uploaded pictures are many men, who cited the same reasons.


Amal from Saudi Arabia: "I support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World because I am  tired of asking my guardian's permission for everything, including opening a bank account, traveling, seeking medical treatment, working, buying real-estate, conducting any business transaction, and  calling a driver. Enough!"