When I wake up every morning and open my newspaper, I read headlines about what is happening Libya. Today, for example, the New York Times headlines are Top Libyan Official Defects; Rebels Are Retreating, CIA Spies Aiding Airstrikes And Assessing Qaddafis Foes and Opposition Flees Towns Gained Last Week. The Washington Post headline is CIA at work inside Libya, and the Wall Street Journal headlines are NATO Rules Out Arming Rebels and Scots Seek Interview with Libya Defector. As I read them, the picture my mind creates is of men engaged in conflict.
This morning, however, I also opened an online article in The National, a UAE publication entitled The women fighting, organising, feeding and healing Libyas revolution. It focuses to a large extenton 44 year old attorney Salwa Bugaighis, who is integrally involved in the work of the Libyan opposition. As the article notes, she has an amorphous job running logistical operations and acting as a liaison between the street and the National Transitional Council, the interim governing body led by Qaddafi’s former justice minister, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, [a council] that heads a number of city councils around the east. On a daily basis she juggles many tasks: talking with young people, meeting with the military committee of Benghazi and fielding calls about arriving food shipments.
This article again highlights to me the roles that women played in Egypt and Tunisia and that they are playing across the region. It is definitely worth a read.