The disturbing images of Egypt security officers stripping and beating a female protester is actually a fairly accurate portrait of how women are treated in Egypt and throughout the Arab world, writes Lisa Beyer at Bloomberg View. Violence and harassment are common, as is domestic abuse at the hands of fathers or husbands. Those images, however, galvanized yesterday's massive women's march in Cairo and might yet herald change.
"It's been said often enough that Arab countries can't progress or compete in the global economy when half their population is cloistered," writes Beyer. "Yet Arab women can't contribute to public life if they are too frightened to enter public spaces. By banding together, the women marchers in Cairo have thrown off their fear. Maybe their Arab sisters elsewhere will follow their example."