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The right time to do the right thing

Mohammed Sameer's Friends' Facebook Notes - Thu, 09/06/2011 - 8:04am

Wake up and smell the roses women of Egypt. Since the January 25 Revolution, women have been excluded from the decision-making process.

Too often in reform process, such as ours in Egypt these days, it is said that it is untimely to raise the issue of women’s empowerment. But we all know that gender equality is not a luxury, it is vital, and as Martin Luther King said ‘It is always the right time to do the right thing’.

Controversial issues are taking its toll now. For example, the amendment of certain laws that are considered favorable to women and associated with the Suzan Mubarak, are debated. It is true that some of these laws need to be reviewed but they need to be looked at as a whole not only at certain articles of the law or for the benefit of a certain camp of the society.

The still vague female quota in parliament, looking at the experience of others, out of all 194 UN member states, only 28 countries have full participation of women in decision-making and it all happened through a quota system.

It is women’s rights at risk here. Rights women have gained in past periods and were earned after years of persistent struggle by civil society organizations and women’s rights activists. We women know that rights are grabbed, no one will present it to us on a golden plate and we have to fight now - when we still have the opportunity.

As democracy is not achieved without steadily involving women and having gender equality in political and social decision-making, it is our pressing demand to (1) ensure our constitutional rights and to continue to pressure SCAF to draft a new ‎constitution before elections, (2) highlight the important role women played during the revolution and up till now, (3) guarantee women’s contribution in all public decisions in the future, while also protecting of our obtained rights.