This morning Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, and news announced that the women of Egypt would be taking over the demonstrations for the day to give the men a break. We saw pictures of women taking to the streets and heading the demonstrations - as opposed to mainly men ,which has been the norm since the uprising began earlier last week. “The men had been going at it for days, and they needed to sleep,” the message sounded.
From what I know of Egyptian women after having lived in the country for three years, they are not able to take over the demonstrations because they – as opposed to their husbands, sons, brothers, uncles and fathers – have been resting, because they have not. While their male relatives have been out in the streets fighting for freedom, democracy and life, the Egyptian women have taken care of everything else: their homes, family, children, parents, the mosques, the neighborhoods, food, commerce, gossip, coordination, and everything else that is necessary business, come Mubarak or high water. Between the work and the worry, my guess is they have probably slept if possible even less that their male relatives.
Here is what I think: the Egyptian women are not taking to the streets because they are well rested; they are marking their presence in the history of Egypt because they are strong, many, and because they are the cornerstones of this Ancient country. They are there behind every move the people of Egypt make.
Most likely the majority of the new government will be men, which is something to shift away from, however the women will not be absent. It is not fair or even justifiable that women should have no credit or overt recognition of their power. The fact is though that women play a huge part in the politics of Egypt, and today’s march was a demonstration of this. Even though their individual names are not in the papers, the news, on Twitter or Facebook like those of prominent male political key figures, we should all keep in mind their collective power, and the fact that the women of Egypt are standing strong.