Women’s Campaign Knocks on Doors to Support the Egyptian Revolution

Egyptian center for women's rights

A group of women leaders has organised a campaign to knock on doors to support the Egyptian Revolution and the Road Map. The campaign involved drafting a statement entitled ‘Egyptian Women and the Muslim Brotherhood: Use and Abuse’ and cited the reasons millions of Egyptians, especially women, took to the streets to reject the regime of the Muslim Brotherhood. The statement also demanded the international community support the desire of Egyptian men and women for a modern state and support transition to a real democracy. The statement was signed by 100 public figures and 500 civil society organisations.

The campaign also entailed shuttle visits over the last 2 weeks to a number of international organisations and foreign embassies to drum up support for the Road Map and explain the reasons for this 2nd wave of the January Revolution and the practical steps being taken to make the transition to a modern democratic state that respects human rights. The delegation included Nihad Abu al-Qumsan, Director of the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights, Dr Amani at-Tawil, an expert from the al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Mona Munir, Secretary General of the Women’s Committee of the Free Egyptians Party and a member in the Coordinating Mass Action for Egyptian Women movement, along with Rawya kershah, Coordinator of the Coordinating Mass Action for Egyptian Women movement who helped draft the statement and collect signatures.

The delegation met with a representative from the UN in Cairo, Anita Nirody, the Manager of the UNDP’s Regional Office in Cairo, Alia Abdul Ghani al-Dalli, an official from the policy division of the EU, Gabriel Munuera, Human Rights Adviser, Karen Anderson, Britain’s Ambassador, James Watt, the American Charges d’Affaires, Marc Sievers, Human Rights Representative, Mark Kadil and a delegation from the Swiss Foreign Office including the Minister for Personal Security, Konstantin Obolensky, Kim Sitzaler, Personal Security Adviser at the Embassy, as well as Ambassador Claudia Marti.

Nehad Aboul Qomsan presented the statement signed by public figures and NGOs on the violations of the rights of marginalized groups, such as women and Copts, by the Freedom and Justice Party during the year Mohamed Morsi was in power. Dr Amani at-Tawil also presented a study entitled ‘Battle for the Rule of Egypt’, analysing the social reasons for millions of Egyptians taking to the streets on 30 June. Mona Munir explained why the violence being committed by the Brotherhood is expanding outwards over the Egyptian people and the consequences it has for Egypt.

The American Charges d’Affaires, Marc Sievers, stated the biggest mistake made by the US was not realising the repercussions of the Constitutional Declaration issued by the ousted President Mohamed Morsi and how it would polarize Egypt politically and divide it socially. Also, that the US had failed to understand the mechanism for decision making during Morsi’s rule of Egypt, pointing out that the Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood had been running Egypt, not the President. Meanwhile, the UK Ambassador, James Watt, outlined his understanding of the course of events in Egypt, indicating that the battle in Egypt now is to support the Road Map, democratic transition and economic stability.

In this regard, the UN Resident Representative in Cairo, Anita Nirody underlined the UN’s support for the process of democratic development in Egypt and the UN’s work to support development in general. The Manager of the UNDP pointed out that it was directing all its capabilities to supporting sustainable development in Arab States, especially Egypt, the largest Arab country. The Swiss delegation concentrated on the future mechanisms for integrating Islamists into the political process, whilst the representatives from the EU stressed that the EU would be more understanding of the will of the Egyptian people and would work to support democratic change and economic development.

Finally, the delegation of women stated that through the campaign of knocking on doors, transition to democracy was underway, which is what all Egyptians are aiming for by adhering to the Road Map, a map everyone is seeking and fighting to see implemented. The delegation stressed that inclusion of the parties of Political Islam in the political process must be subject to the legal processes in place during this transitional period, such as investigations and admitting to mistakes, so that all those not involved in terrorism and killing Egyptians, in the targeting of Egypt’s armed forces or in schemes to weaken or divide Egypt itself, are integrated into the political process.

For further information please contact the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) at ecwr@ecwronline.org or tel: 2 02 252 82 176 / 252 71 397

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