Libyan Women Fight for a Voice

    Girls and women attend a celebration of Libya's liberation in Freedom Square in Misrata, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. Libya's transitional leader declared his country's liberation Sunday after an 8-month civil war and set out plans for the future with an Islamist tone. The announcement was clouded, however, by international pressure to explain how ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi had been captured alive days earlier, then ended up dead from a gunshot to his head shortly afterward. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

    Manu Brabo / AP Photo

    During the Libyan uprising, women like Inas Fathy, 26, went to work for the resistance. The former computer engineer spied on forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi until, after months of pro-revolutionary activity, Fathy was abducted by security forces. In postdictator Libya, Fathy and other women have become more active than ever, working to secure their rights in a society where male hegemony was already beginning to tatter and fray. She’s founded a nongovernmental organization to help prisoners locked up by the old regime and has been joined by other women who want to share their stories. “We have a brain, we can think for ourselves, we can speak out,” said Asma Gargoum, another female activist. “We can go to the street without fear.”

    Read it at Smithsonian magazine