7-13-2012By Elisa Massimino
President and CEO of Human Rights FIrst
This Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will do something that no U.S. Secretary of State has ever done: meet with a democratically elected president of Egypt.
The meeting should be about more than symbolism. Egyptian women were at the forefront of their revolution, but the systemic oppression they faced under Mubarak continues under the military regime that replaced him.
President Morsi said he would name a woman to be one of the vice presidents, but there is good reason to question his commitment to equality. He used to be a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood, and he played a part in drafting the group’s policy platform, which, among other regressive planks, holds that a woman cannot be president of Egypt.
As president, he has a responsibility to address the problems facing Egypt’s women, which include widespread violence and a lack of political representation.
For decades, the United States supported the Mubarak regime. Now it’s time for the United States to demonstrate that it sides with the Egyptian people, including Egyptian women.