How amazing is the Arab spring, and the women of Arab spring.
A year from now history turned upside down and hundreds of people took to the streets which they made as their base for peaceful protest, willing to sacrifice their lives with voices that echoed all over the world, refusing corrupt regimes that practice power that is not only suppressive but under cover of democracy.
We saw how freedom was like fast infection. Few days after the flight of Bin Ali and the overthrow of his regime, we saw the hunger of the Egyptian, Libyan and Syrian people for freedom after being inspired by the honorable results of the Tunisian Jasmine revolution.
For me and many of the women in the world, what aroused our admiration are the woman participation in this revolution, and the appearance of thousands of women faces during the Arab spring. We felt proud and reassured that this was not a male gender's revolution wearing men's shirts and trousers.
The women played equal roles with men in the squares and streets, practicing political roles on the internet, by writing blogs, twitters and press articles to keep the world in touch with the reality on the ground.
Women took to the streets not only in defiance and refusal to men's tyranny but also against women dictatorship, as we had seen in the case of the deposed Bin Ali's wife, Lila al-Trabulsi who practiced with her family all kinds of administrative and financial corruption.
Due to the Arab spring, the names of many women who have been unknown due to suppression and lack of media freedom, appeared. The fame of some of them increased because of their struggle during previous years for fostering freedom and democracy in their countries and we have seen Siham Bin Sidrin and Naziha Rejaih who had suffered assaults for years but they continued their political activity despite all political difficulties.
We applauded the Syrian women, such as Montaha al-Atrash, Fida Hourani and Suhair al-Atassi, who participated in the political activities and the political transition process, despite the great repression. Our hearts were filled with pride and joy when the political activist Kerman won the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant role in the peaceful struggle in Yemen.
I was not surprised when I saw the Times magazine choosing for its cover page the face an Arab women for the person of the year 2011, in appreciation for her great role during the Arab spring.
We should not feel frustration and defeat, because the dictatorships had taken years and decades to build their systems, and change also will not be instant and will take long.
As our State Minister recently said in his article, "it is expected that the Arab spring will be a long process and not an instant solution. It is inevitable that it would take different forms in certain countries, and the holding of credible elections in countries that had been deprived from freedom for long times is considered a great event but what happens after elections will decide its success or failure."
Out of our commitment for supporting democracy in the area, especially after the Arab spring, we have launched last year the Arab partnership fund, that aims at building foundations for more open and free communities, supported by lively economies, as well as the implementation of long term political and economic reforms, through democratic foundations ,which include the multi party institutions, press freedom, provision of job opportunities in the region through the allocation of 110 million sterling pounds during four years.
A quick look of the above shows that the year 2011 is not only an Arab spring but it is really the spring of woman.
The final outcome of the Arab woman should be equal to the significant role that she played in the this spring. The least that the Arab woman deserves is equality, respect, democracy and justice. It is notable that these are the same demands that the people have revolted for at the beginning of the Arab awakening.
*Rosemary Davis is spokesperson of the British Government in the Middle East and North Africa