Dalia Ziada's role in Egyptian politics

Dalia Ziada TRUDY RUBIN
Dalia Ziada TRUDY RUBIN
Posted: June 11, 2012

When women's activist Dalia Ziada ran for Parliament on the Justice Party ticket, her male colleagues refused to let her head the list; they said a young woman could not win a large number of votes.

"Women are now being marginalized," she said, "not just by the SCAF [Egypt's ruling military council] or by the Muslim Brotherhood, but by the patriarchal mind-set of society, which doesn't believe women are an essential part of democracy."

Ziada, who is also a leading campaigner against female genital mutilation, says women outside the country can help their Egyptian counterparts. She wants to raise funds to select five top female leaders from among those who participated in the revolution, along with five each from other countries involved in the Arab Spring. The idea: to provide them with training on how to campaign and organize, so they can spread that knowledge.

"There can be no Arab Spring without women," she said.

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