Talk to Al Jazeera

Why Arab women still ‘have no voice’

Amal al-Malki, a Qatari author, says the Arab Spring has failed women in their struggle for equality.

Is the Arab Spring a movement leading to more freedom and equal rights?

Not for women, according to Amal al-Malki, a Qatari author who is very concerned about the rights of women in the Arab world.

She is largely skeptical of recent developments and says, if anything, the Arab Spring has only highlighted the continuing “second-class citizenship” of women in the region.

She argues that despite some progress made Arab women are still largely absent in the public arena.

“We have no voice. We have no visibility… And I am telling you, this is why women’s rights should be institutionalised, it should not be held hostage at the hand of political leaderships who can change in a second, right? Governments should be held responsible for treating men and women equally.”

Will the Arab Spring deliver its promises to everyone? Or is there reason to believe that women will be left behind? What has changed for women in the Arab world?

On this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, we talk to Amal al-Malki, a woman not afraid to ring the alarm bells, about women’s rights in the Arab world, political and social empowerment and Islamic feminism.