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One year after the historic revolution in Tahrir Square, Egypt is realizing its dreams of democracy with the convening of their new Parliament. For the first time in six decades, democratically elected Parliamentarians met to establish Egypt’s new future. Reports of elated citizens hoisting these newly elected officials on their shoulders to deliver them to Parliament are examples of the optimism and great expectations Egyptians feel about their new democracy. The world stands with Egypt in hope that the country will flourish. But, there have been troubling signs over the last year. The attacks on women, including brutal beatings and “virginity tests”, the recent raids of civil society organizations, and the intimidation of Egypt’s citizens by the military call into question the progress that Egypt has made. Democracy must include the respect and protection of innocent citizens, and must protect the rights of all its citizens, Christians and Muslims, men and women. Perhaps most importantly, women must play a significant role in the development of this new democracy; otherwise, as history shows, the country cannot succeed. Women currently represent only one percent of the Parliament, and many from the extremist Salafist party have vowed to restrict women’s inclusion in society. Egypt stands in peril of losing all it has fought for this year if women are cut out of the process. Women stood shoulder to shoulder with men in the revolution and garnered the respect of men that they deserve. The men of Egypt must support their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters - a democratic Egypt depends on it. This post written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.
Charity N. Wallace serves as the Senior Advisor to the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and is in an executive graduate program in pursuit of a Global Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently, Ms. Wallace served as the Vice President of the Global Women’s Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. In this role, Ms. Wallace was responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the women’s initiatives, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health initiative, empowering women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world. The Women's Initiative aims to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
From February 2009 through September 2010, Wallace served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush. Wallace oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives - from her wide ranging policy agenda to her the publishing and promotion of Mrs. Bush’s bestselling book, Spoken from the Heart. Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009. During her tenure in the administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-2009), Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush (2004-2007), and worked in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps. During her tenure in the Bush Administration and in her current role, Wallace has traveled to 70 countries.
Ms. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, the Advisory Board of 4word Women and the Advisory Board of All In Together, an bi-partisan organization that promotes women’s engagement in political and civic life. Ms. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute. Ms. Wallace wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011. A native of California, Ms. Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations.Full Bio