March 8, 2011-On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice applauds the role that women in Muslim countries are playing on the front lines of the new movement toward democracy in Egypt and beyond.
“It is remarkable that one young woman, 26-year old Asmaa Mahfouz could start a movement on Facebook that would play a major role in galvanizing the pro-Democracy movement that has had such a profound effect on governments throughout the region,” said Dr. Katrina Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
Mahfouz made a plea for democracy that was uploaded to YouTube which was shared on Facebook. Within days the video went viral.
“As new democracies are born, the importance of the full and equal inclusion of women must be a priority of American foreign policy vis-à-vis these nations. The Lantos Foundation is committed to the cause of women’s rights in the Middle East, Afghanistan and around the world. Those countries that fail to protect the rights of women and girls cannot be considered full partners in the advancement of human rights,” Swett said.
“In the memorable words of Hillary Clinton during the 1995 Beijing Conference, “Human rights are women’s rights-and women’s rights are human rights.”