The differential impact of women's pariticipation in the Arab Spring
Kuhlow, Sasha J.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
Mabry, Tristan J.
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The Arab Spring protests in 2011 uprooted regimes, challenged authoritarian leaders, and provided protesters new tools for mobilization. The use of social media and the involvement of women in public protests indicated changing protest repertoires and movement demographics in many countries. When women protested in 2011, they mobilized both physically and virtually. Assessing the influence women exert in social movements through social media can provide insights into factors that make a social movement successful. This thesis asserts that women physically mobilized to participate in the Arab Spring protests in Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain. In Egypt and Bahrain, women also mobilized virtually using social media, while in Yemen women participated through traditional forms of social mobilization. An assessment of Twitter data in Egypt and Bahrain indicates that women communicated out to others more than their male counterparts, while men received more information from others. Data also indicates that women followed significantly more sources of information than men, thus contributing to the diversity of online protest networks. Notably, women represented nearly fifty percent of the most connected users in the Egyptian Twitter data, communicating to nearly twice as many users and following four times as many information sources, as their male counterparts.
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