Revolutionary Women: Mirroring Latin America & the Arab World (

March 13, 2011 (Original  Muslim and Arab women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have long been regarded by ‘the West’ as silent, exotically ‘unseen’, or mere echoes of the paternalistic regimes under which they were believed to live. Particularly after the 2001 and 2003 invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in conjunction with the recently instituted French burqa ban, the whole of Islam and the many roles that women play within Muslim and Arab societies have become conflated with extremism. While many MENA governments have indeed been deficient in instituting equal legal rights for both genders, this has not prevented women in the region from being capable and productive members of society who actively pursue political reforms and social change. Far from being silent or invisible, women have, in fact, been the backbone of the current wave of revolution sweeping through the MENA region.