For Egyptian women, it was the most revolutionary image of all: male and female protesters spending days and nights together in Tahrir Square, bringing down a hated regime side by side — comrades in a country where women had long been plagued by masculine scorn and harassment.
More than a year later, in Egypt’s first free presidential election, the famously feisty women of the Arab Spring have vanished from the political horizon. Although millions turned out to vote, none were on the ballot. And in the parliamentary election in January, only 2 per cent of seats were won by female candidates after a quota system was dropped.
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