Standing in solidarity with Egypt

Dear colleagues,

We stand in solidarity with the peoples’ movement in Egypt who saw an opening in history, imagined a better world for themselves and through their persistence desire and bravery were able to crack that opening so wide that the flood gates could not be closed. Through violence, threats, valiant acts and dogged activism they sparked the flame of democracy and hope for a better Egypt, a peoples’ Egypt.  For Egyptian women, and women all over the Arab region, it is a victory as well for we saw activism spurred by the bravery of many young women who defied outmoded cultural norms to demand justice and freedom.

FTF member, Josephine Kamel, has been living these historic events from her home in Cairo, and has sent us this heartfelt message.  See more info and links below including presentations by FTF member, Kinda Mohamadieh of the Arab NGO Network for Development in Lebanon at the FTF Day of Dialogue on Women and the MDGs: Addressing Crises at a Crossroads last September on how the financial crisis has increased barriers to economic empowerment of women in the Arab region which in turn impacts their ability to achieve their civil and political rights, and freedoms in other spaces.

A healthy baby was delivered yesterday after a difficult labor of 18 days. It is still a baby that we have to nurture for a while in order to him/her to grow stronger in a healthy environment of Freedom, Equality, Democracy, social and economic justice – the clear demands of the youth of Egypt who drew a picture of their future.  This youth is determined not allow anymore for corruption, and injustices to prevail, and have now availed themselves for the reconstruction of their country.  All Egyptians all over the country are now celebrating a new era through huge demonstrations and a call for unity and pride (women, men, old, young, and even kids).

In brief, this is still a transitional area under the authority of the military forces, details of the process of change are not yet announced, but military forces keep announcing and promising that they are guaranteeing the implementation of the people’s legitimate demands and we trust them.  All the citizens believe that Egypt after January 25 is totally different.

As for gender equality, if you look at the pictures of the youth demonstrating and demanding for change you will find out the girls are taking the lead in the majority of youth groups, and they are equally strong in their demand for freedom.

From my point of view, and what make me so optimistic in terms of the constitution amendments; there is a strong tendency towards the civil nation which will allow for a larger role of civil society and the most important for me is the freedom from religious tensions and taboos impeding women participation and development.

Reforms are being carried out now in a quick pace for the urgent demands of the poor in terms of employment and decent housing.

Love and Peace

Cairo, February 12, 2011

Audio presentation by FTF member Kinda Mohamadieh, Arab NGO Network for Development-Lebanon, on how the financial crisis has increased barriers to the economic empowerment of women in the Arab region and the impacts on their ability to achieve their civil and political rights.  Day of Dialogue on Women and the MDGs: Addressing Crises at a Crossroads , September  20, 2010.  Listen to Kinda Mohamadieh from the Arab NGO Network for Development – ANND.

Insider’s Account of Egypt: “A Truly Civilized, Peaceful People Who Decided to Regain Control of Their Destiny” –  Olfa G. Tantawi, an Egyptian mother of two, talks about what the revolution means for her country. –AlterNet

Take a look at what Code Pink had to say about recent events and US policy towards Egypt:

Today, 2/11, will go down in history and this incredible nonviolent uprising will reshape the Arab world for decades to come.  We hope that this day, rather than 9/11, will also redefine the US relationship to the Middle East.

— Rosa G. Lizarde, Global Coordinator, Feminist Task Force

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