Five Questions About Arab Women’s Activism Five Years After the ‘Arab Spring’

Author(s) Sahar Khamis
Contact Sahar Khamis, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 10, Iss. 1, 2016, pp. 132-143
Published May 10, 2016
Type Comment
Abstract The Arab world witnessed unprecedented waves of revolt in 2011, which have taken the whole world by surprise, and led to many unexpected outcomes and varying results. Five years after this wave of revolt, it becomes necessary to examine its wide array of effects, especially on certain groups who played a significant role in the midst of these uprisings, such as youth and women. This article addresses a number of important points pertaining to Arab women and their future, such as the effect of the turbulent political environment in the Arab region on Arab women’s movements and their ability to organize; the impact of violations of human rights and the curbing of media freedom on Arab women’s online and offline activism; the implications of the prevailing environment of fragmentation and polarization in many parts of the Arab world on Arab women’s activism, both offline and online; rethinking the potentials and limitations of “cyberactivism” and “cyberfeminism” in terms of enhancing Arab women’s empowerment, activism, and inclusion; as well as coming up with a more inclusive and comprehensive approach, which accounts for different categories of Arab women, when rethinking the notion of “cyberfeminism.”
Keywords social media, gender, Arab Spring, cyberactivism