Cairo, Egypt (PRWEB) January 18, 2012
The women activists of the Arab Spring converge in Cairo for the first Yahoo Change Your World Summit on the Arab Spring, opened by Mona Al-Tawhary, Egyptian Activist, Manal al Sharif, reknown Saudi activist leader on the campaign for women’s right to drive, Maria Al-Mansani of Yemen Right Monitor, Nobel Prize Nominee Asma Mahfouz of Egypt’s April 5 movement, Maryam al-Khawaja of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, and Darya Mohammed of Libya.
“It is a great opportunity for Arab women to take back the Arab Spring and ensure that together, our voices are not marginalized,” says Yemen Right Monitor founder Maria Al-Masani. “In the Gulf Coordinating Council negotiations for example, women were shut out of it entirely, including women leaders, and the protests continue. Women’s participation was valued during the revolution, but now, as top government positions are awarded, a female voice is seldom heard. As women in the region are the primary caretakers, this also excludes the voice of children. In the Ugandan parliament and in Rwanda, change happened when large numbers of women gathered together as a group. I would like to thank Yahoo News and Vital Voices for bringing the women of the Arab Spring together to speak in a unified voice that will reverberate across generations.” Yemen Rights Monitor began with the help of the volunteers from the Carleton School of Journalism and contributors such as Maria alMasani, Ibi Ibrhrahim, Alaa Jarban, Yusra, and Talal, among others.
Yahoo News’ Change Your World! – Yahoo! Business & Human Rights Summit on Women and Social/Digital Media is a historic meeting in Cairo of Arab women around the world in both traditional journalism and social media journalists will include Aljazeera producer Yemen Times, Masyr al Youm, among many other luminaries. Women across the Middle East who have made change in social and/or traditional media will come together to discuss how they began to transform their own society. Arab women activists were vital to collecting cell phone images and disseminating them on Facebook to the press and through Twitter. Female journalists were crucial in verifying the data. Women also organized calls to protest. Yemen’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Tawokkol Karman inspired protests in Yemen by bringing together a group of 20 women journalists to protest during the time Ben Ali fell. Yemen’s revolution began with their liberation from government captivity. However, in more recent times transitional power struggles threaten to shut out women’s voices. This Summit is a crucial step to insure that they are heard.
In May 2008, Yahoo launched the Yahoo! Business & Human Rights Program, the first of its kind in the industry. Vital Voices mentored over 10,000 female leaders in 127 countries.
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