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We’ve been saying it all along… but the so-called “Arab Spring” didn’t bring about good news for democracy and women’s rights many places. And certainly not in Egypt.

Egyptian women in Tahrir Square

(Photo: Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

Recent event sadly confirms that the Muslim Brotherhood is not so big on human rights (when ‘human’ is taken to include women and religious and ethnic minorities)

In the new draft of the constitution, women are granted equal rights… as long as it doesn’t clash with Islamic law (more on article 36 here, more on protests taking place in Egypt yesterday here). The debate is not new: IN 2011, after the protests at Tahrir Square, concern was raised over limiting women’s rights by religious mandate (see here) instead of ‘democracy for all’

I can see no reason to be an optimist at this stage — looks like women again will be kept down by force and legislation. Perhaps the fact that president Morsi needs the financial aid from the USA to feed a growing population will somehow change the wording of article 36. But Clinton leaves office this November, and I have not heard either candidate’s likely Secretary of State defending the women of the Arab spring…

 

 

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