CAIRO: A group of some 16 women organization announced on Sunday the launch of the Women’s Organizations Coalition in a press conference discussing the role of Egyptian women in formulating and building a democratic country after the January 25 revolution.
“The revolution called upon the equality and the social justice for all portions of the society,” said Fatma Khafagy women rights’ activist participating in the coalition.
Among the demands of the coalition was the true representation of Egyptian women who participated in the revolution side by side with men. And that media should focus on women activities and let them be part of the democratic transition process.
“Women should be respectfully represented in the constituent assembly that would draft the new constitution and all other organizations in the country even the presidency,” announced the speakers.
“The society should understand that women are an integral part of the country but this is hard because t is a long rooted culture to ignore them, therefore I believe there should be a Women’s quota in all organizations not only the parliament”, said Fouad Abdel Moneim Ryad of the National Council of Human Rights (NCHR).
“We do not only demand the rights’ of the women but the entire sectors of the country to build a true democratic state that has no discrimination by any means,” the speakers told reporters.
There are various mechanisms to apply the demands of the coalition to increase awareness of women in different spots of the state of the importance of their political participation in the coming phase; yet it faces many obstacles.
One of the obstacles is the culture of the society that ignores women in the decision making process on all levels of the country.
“We should change our own reaction to what they do, I believe, as long as they don’t won’t to change their actions we should adapt ourselves to them,” said Karima Kamal a journalist.
Another drawback is the human resources. “Our problem now is not how to step down into the field work, but is that we need much more human resources that can communicate with the public,” said Nehad Abu Komsan, director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR).
However, the coalition is now communicating with different Arab organizations in Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to support women in these countries and to share experience in this field.
Some of the organizations participating in the coalition are the New Woman Foundation, Egyptian Women for a Better Society and Egyptian Women with Change, that was established a day after ElBaradie came to Egypt to support his views.
The speakers sent a message to the media at the end of the conference asking them to help them out by letting the women express themselves and their opinions in the coming period instead of waiting till they call for a press conference to say what they have to become truly a fundamental part of the Egyptian society.