Like so many others, I have been watching the unfolding events in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. Undeniably, the role of the social media is extraordinary. The ability of that media to bypass traditional media is stunning in its effectiveness. That ability to communicate events and mobilize people hopefully in a peaceful manner is transformative.

I am also struck by the photos Ive seen. While most of the demonstrators are men, there are women in the crowds. Ive heard women interviewed on international media about their hopes for the future in their countries. My hope is that whatever the outcome, women place a strong role in creating structures, organizations and policies that emerge. We cant let protest silence women or downplay the critical role women must play in conflict resolution, community building, policy formulation and social change.