Friday, March 09, 2012

Egyptian Women Unhappy With Representation

Egypt women unhappy with representation

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Prominent Egyptian women talked skeptically about the influence and “low-representation” of women in the Parliament and state institutions of Egypt.

Gameela Ismail, a prominent activist, ex-wife of Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour and a prominent TV presenter who was banned from TV in Egypt for many years during Hosni Mubarak’s rule, said the most influential factor in Egyptian politics was still the protestors in Tahrir Square, “who keep protesting against the military rule, Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood.”

Ismail and Cairo University academic Sanaa al-Banna came to Turkey to attend a forum organized by the Başakşehir Municipality for International Women’s Day March 8. Ismail said some Egyptian women had the right to fear losing their rights because of the indications in the country so far.

“The representation of women in parliamentary elections, in different advisory councils and in the judiciary is very low. However I believe there shouldn’t be any fear for the future because Egyptians would never let any religious, authoritarian or military power take their rights away,” Ismail told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview. “I don’t think they will take any measures that will breach women’s rights or minorities’ rights in Egypt. Whether it is military rule or authoritarian religious rule, no one in the society would let any regime to take its rights away any more.”

The granddaughter of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Sanaa al-Banna said she did not vote for the Muslim Brotherhood in the elections because they had sought votes using Islamist propaganda. “I wanted to make a balance by using my vote in favor of a pro-change revolutionary national party list which combines young people from different backgrounds,” al-Banna said. She said she believed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt would improve in terms of political performance and mobilization. “I am waiting for this improvement to happen,” she said.

Al-Banna, who knows Turkish because of her mother’s Turkish background, said she wrote her master’s thesis on the Gülen movement in Turkey while studying at Cambridge University in the UK.

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