A Young Woman Named Asma Mahfouz

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“A young woman named Asma Mahfouz, ... , uploaded a short video on Youtube and Facebook in which she announced, “Whoever says women shouldn’t go to the protests because they will get beaten, let him have some manhood and let him come with me [to Tahrir Square in Cairo] on January 25.” 1(Moghadam 232) There is no doubt that women are playing an increasingly vocal, and vital role in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) than ever before. In her third edition of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East, Valentine M. Moghadam explores the various changes the region has undergone from conflicts, to social structure, regime changes, education, laws, and economy growth. She ties this wide range of topics all into the impact on women of the region, and how the idea of women and women’s roles in the Middle East has drastically changed over time. To tackle such a large question Moghadam makes it quite clear that the treatment of women varies immensely between countries, and time periods. Countries that once offered many freedoms and opportunities now enforce harsh laws and restrict women’s rights due to regime changes. Other countries where women used to be treated as second-class citizens now are offering more and more civil liberties. Moghadam emphasizes that women are not passive bystanders to their fate. They are at the forefront of many civil revolutions and have started grassroots movements to help win civil freedom and equality. The most successful

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