As political revolutions unfold across the Arab world, is another, subtler change taking place? Will gender equality rise with democracy in the Middle East?

Of course, only time will tell what kind of impact recent revolutions and revolts will have. In the meantime, we are keeping a close watch on female leaders, such as Tawakkul Karman, a Yemeni citizen and long-time defender of freedom and human rights.

Karman has become the international face of the Yemeni pro-change movement in a country where only 1 in 301 parlimentarians is a woman, 67% of women remain illiterate, and the government has not agreed to protect young girls from being married off before they finish school.

Although Karman may not be representative of Yemeni women in general, she is certainly inspiring, and she is working hard to achieve political liberations that could open many new opportunities for women.

“According to Nadia al-Sakkaf, female Editor-in-Chief of the independent Yemen Times, winning [women’s rights] is difficult without the support of a political party…” Hopefully, leaders like Tawakel Karman are able to blaze a political path for women and all Yemenis to find freedom and empowerment.

Read the Article: The Middle East Online.

– by Haley Priebe