A decade after the uprisings that saw the end of dictatorship in Tunisia, the promise of democracy remains unfulfilled, particularly for Tunisian women. Examining the dynamics of justice in cases of gender violence, Ola Galal looks at how Tunisian women use social media to challenge the entrenched tendencies to ignore violence against women through online campaigns like #EnaZeda. However, as Galal argues, women in rural areas seldom benefit from these digital mechanisms for redress.
As the ten-year anniversary of the 2011 Arab uprisings comes to an end, we invited SSRC fellows who are experts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to reflect on those events. Despite the hopes and promises of those months of protest, many of the countries that saw people take to the streets clamoring for new social contracts and more freedom are now under the grasp of new strongmen or embroiled in conflicts. The scholars gathered in this essay series examine the uprisings from the perspective of the present and how the protests, and the responses to them, help us understand recent events in or potential futures of the region. They also reflect on the uprisings’ impact on their work or the broader impact on the field of MENA studies.
Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, among others, are the places this essay series will visit, touching on the uprisings’ impact on local dynamics to broader national and regional trends. In curating this series, this group of contributors will provide important insights for those hoping to learn more about uprisings of 2011 and their enduring effects on the region.
Banner photo: Hossam el-Hamalawy/Flickr.