James Brown might have sung that “It’s a man’s man’s world”, but he couldn’t have been more wrong! (and he knew it too with his concessionary -- but it ain’t nothing, without you)
The Middle East might be dominated by tyrant dictators (looking at you, Assad) and Sheikhs issuing fatwas every half an hour, but there’s a new vanguard in the region made up of strong, powerful women  who are causing a stir amongst the patriarchs.
There are plenty of issues to go around in the Middle East and each one of these fearsome matrons  have stood up for what they believed in and made a difference. Whether it is the two state solution in Palestine or being arrested for writing about the Arab Spring, these girls have made a difference in a region where some believe women should be seen (behind a veil) and not seen.
Being a female in the Arab world can be a struggle for locals and expats alike - widespread patriarchy, sexual harassment and outdated discriminatory cultural norms can make even going supermarket shopping an ordeal. That’s why what these ladies are doing is so extraordinary - not only are they bucking time-old gender stereotypes, they are speaking out on some of the most important issues in the world today.
From Amira Hass to Manal Al Sharif, take a look at Al Bawaba’s gallery of the most extraordinary ladies in the Middle East  today who are sticking their head above the parapet and firmly foisting their female faces on to a male-map.