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Empowering Egyptians, One Woman At A Time

Article by Charity Wallace March 7, 2013 //   2 minute read

This op-ed originally appeared in The SunSentinel on March 7, 2013.

International Women's Day will be celebrated on Friday and is an occasion to celebrate women's economic, social and political achievements. Women have made great strides over the past century, but in many parts of the world, they still face oppression and a lack of opportunity.

In some countries, conditions are actually getting worse. In December, Egypt adopted a new constitution -- one that fails to enshrine equal rights for women. Observers are also worried that aspects of the new constitution will lend support to horrific offenses against women, like female genital mutilation and sex trafficking.

No nation can thrive when half its population is unable to lend its talent and effort to pressing social problems. The way forward is to support women in these countries as they work together, to advocate for opportunity and equality. These networks of women can push beyond the political and cultural forces intent on repressing them.

That's why at the George W. Bush Institute, our Women's Initiative Fellowship Program seeks to identify and empower female leaders in countries where women are oppressed and marginalized.  We have focused our initial efforts on Egypt, but there is important work to be done for the women of many other countries.

Read Charity Wallace's op-ed in its entirety here.

Charity Wallace serves as the director of the Women's Initiative at the Bush Institute and senior advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush.