Bahraini Women in the 21st Century: Disputed Legacy of the Unfinished Revolution
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AbstractThe role of women in the Arab Spring uprisings requires special attention. Indeed, women participated alongside men in recent political movements and were actively involved in shaping the outcomes of these processes. The case of Bahrain is especially interesting. Even though the Bahraini “Day of Rage” movement was ultimately marginalized at large, it had unlikely consequences for Bahraini women. As female empowerment has been a high priority on the government’s agenda, participation of women in the public sphere serves important functions and in the aftermath of Bahraini uprising it got an additional boost. The aim of this paper is to assess how the role of Bahraini women has been interwoven with political liberalization reforms in the first decade on the 21st century and assess its importance for the Bahraini authorities. Secondly, it aims at analyzing the outcomes of Arab Spring uprising for Bahraini women. It asserts that as the pro-government and anti-government movements took to the streets, social divisions of Bahrainis deepened and equally, affected female activists. Ultimately, the article ends with a discussion over the prospects of female empowerment by pro-democracy movements in the Middle East.