US ambassador stresses need to include women in politics

US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanie Verveer has stressed the need for the inclusion of women in the committee tasked with drafting the constitution.

According to the constitutional declaration under which Egypt will be governed during the transitional period, the responsiblity for appointing a founding committee to draft a new constitution will fall to the next parliament, which is due to be elected in September.

Speaking at the US Embassy in Cairo on Monday, Verveer expressed her country's desire to provide the necessary support to Egyptian women, who she said must be actively included in the political process, as well as in resolving problems and achieving economic growth.

“Egyptian women are facing certain challenges, including problems related to violence,” she said, expressing her hope that the political situation of women in Egypt would change.

“In America, we are searching for ways at both the state and street levels in which we can help Egyptian women who are on the verge of a transition,” she said. “She has struggled with everyone else in order to achieve her aspirations for a better life and future.”

Verveer went on to say that there can be no democracy without the participation of women in the decision-making process and their impact on those policies that reflect the needs of the community. Verveer added that during her visit to Egypt, she has met with a number of prominent women, some of whom were in Tahrir Square.

When discussing the quota system, Verveer said, “Egypt must decide whether or not to continue using this system. The quota is not an eternal system, and I do not know the former regime’s motives for using it.”

“However, the National Democratic Party has been dissolved, and Egypt must decide whether these seats will remain reserved for women or competed for by all political parties.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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