women

In Belarus, Women Led the Protests and Shattered Stereotypes

MINSK, Belarus — With masked riot police officers massing nearby, threatening to attack protesters like him with batons and fists, Aleksei D. Zulevsky felt safe for the first time in weeks of anti-government unrest in Belarus: He was surrounded by hundreds of women he knew would shield him.

“I feel protected here,” said Mr. Zulevsky, as fellow protesters, many holding red and white flags, the banner of the opposition, chanted at a rally last month. “Only cowards beat women!”

In a country whose strongman president, Aleksandr. G Lukashenko, has openly scoffed at women as too weak for politics and told them their place was in the kitchen, Belarusian women have become the face and driving force of a movement aimed at toppling a leader known as “Europe’s last dictator.”

That effort may be flagging, with Mr. Lukashenko refusing to give up power even though tens of thousands of people continue

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women

Merkel applauds ‘impressive’ women protesters in Belarus

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised women in Belarus for staging peaceful protests in the wake of the country’s disputed presidential election and said Wednesday that she plans to meet soon with the main opposition candidate.



German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to the debate about her policy as part of Germany's budget 2021 debate at the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


© Provided by Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to the debate about her policy as part of Germany’s budget 2021 debate at the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)



German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to the debate about her policy as part of Germany's budget 2021 debate at the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


© Provided by Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to the debate about her policy as part of Germany’s budget 2021 debate at the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Merkel’s comments came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Lithuania. Tsikhanouskaya went into exile there after the Aug. 9 election that Belarus officials claimed President Alexander Lukashenko won with 80% of the

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