Week in Review: A look at the Middle East

Photo credited to BBC Persian, from the New York Times. Participants marched against the widespread public sexual harassment of women on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, last July.

As political and social change continues to sweep through Egypt, Libya, Yemen and several other parts of the Middle East and Africa, the Gender Report looked at the key role women are playing in these processes. We’ve written before about protests, participation in marches, and pushes for representative government in these areas. Here are a few updates in these cases we found in our News Feed, as well as their representation in the media:

  • Libya: Women continue to speak out against rapes committed during the country’s long civil war, asking the new government to provide financial, legal and counseling support to victims. Read more via the Associated Press (as syndicated by the Washington Post).
  • Afghanistan: Nicholas Kristof, an avid supporter of women’s rights, featured a guest post by Noorjahan Akbar on his New York Times blog on her experiences with women marching for awareness of sexual harassment concerns. The post also highlighted organizations and women that are continuing this fight.
  • Egypt: The safety of female journalists in Tahrir Square continues to make headlines as another women, this time a female broadcast journalist from France, was assaulted while covering the protests. The organization Reporters Sans Frontieres, recanted a recommendation to remove female journalists from Tahrir Square for their own safety, after many journalists criticized the statement. One opinion piece for the Guardian said “If women journalists are told it’s too dangerous for them to go there, those voices are likely to be silenced altogether.” The Gender Report earlier highlighted the sexual assault of a “60 Minutes” reporter in February.

Have you seen or read other coverage of women in the Middle East? Post a comment or tweet it to the Gender Report or our News Feed, @GRNewsFeed or @GenderReport.


Gender Check 6/29/11 – Northeast

*Gender Checks are quick examinations of gender representation in individual news articles for the purpose of discovering trends over time. Click here to read more.

Website: The New York Times

On The New York Times, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 29 was titled “France Admits to Arming Libyan Rebels.” Its subject was the recent announcement of the NATO’s country involvement with the rebel forces in the ongoing conflict.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Authors: Male and Female (shared by-line)

Human sourcesĀ  (listed in order mentioned):

  1. Male – French military spokesman
  2. Male – Colonel

Notes/analysis: Much of this story’s information came from previous reporting from French news outlet Le Figaro.

Website: ProPublica

ProPublica, 6/29/2011

On ProPublica, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:30 p.m. EST

on Wednesday, June 29 was titled “The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive.” Its subject was the criminal justice process for murder cases involving children. The story was a collaboration with NPR and PBS’ Frontline.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Authors: Male and Female (shared by-line)

Human sourcesĀ  (listed in order mentioned):

  1. Female – medical examiner
  2. Male – pathologist
  3. Male – convict
  4. Unknown- 9-1-1 operator
  5. Female – forensic pathologist (as quoted from a published report)
  6. Male – medical examiner
  7. Male – judge
  8. Male – friend of convict
  9. Female – office manager (as quoted from court documents)
  10. Male – pathologist
  11. Male – doctor (as quoted from court documents)
  12. Female – nurse (as quoted from court documents)
  13. Female – convict’s wife (as quoted from court documents)
  14. Female – victim’s mother (as quoted from court documents)
  15. Male – assistant district attorney (as quoted from court documents)
  16. Female – lawyer
  17. Male – professor (as quoted from court documents)
  18. Male – pathologist (as quoted from court documents)
  19. Male – doctor
  20. Male – doctor
  21. Female – convict
  22. Female – therapist (as quoted from court documents)
  23. Male – judge (as quoted from court documents)
  24. Male – district attorney
  25. Female – convict

Notes/analysis: This story used mostly legal documents, filings and past reporting for its information. Many of the sources quotes in this manner explicitly declined interviews for the story.