Mitchell Reports | March 08, 2012
>>> and continuing our celebration of international women 's day, we turn our forecast to egypt . long before the arab spring, one woman, dalia ziada, blogger and women rights activist, was promoting nonviolent action and democratic reform . last year dalia iran but lost her bid for egypt 's parliament. this week she is being honored by the "newsweek" and daily beast summit as one of the world's 150 fearless women . dalia ziada joins me now. very good to meet you and look forward to seeing you in new york later this week.
>> you were such an early voice online for freedom, for democracy in egypt . how do you assess the progress or language of progress so far in egypt after the arab spring?
>> it's disappointing now what we're seeing regarding women 's status in egypt after the arab spring. we're almost marginalized from any decision making process , either for some reasons that are related to the mentalities that are now ruling the country, through the military system, which usually used to not care much in the past for women rights . because of its distraction and anything, or on the other hand, the rise, which i think is a very strong threat to women 's rights now. so you can say women in egypt now are almost stuck between two larger stones, but we are on one side and extremism on the other side.
>> i mean, what is the solution or the next steps to that? because we were all so inspired, frankly, by saying in tahrir square, so many women . the brave women of egypt , being out front. and now to hear, to see, to read and to hear from your voice that all those hopes or many of those hopes are not only not being fulfilled, but are being frustrated.
>> actually, one of the greatest things, and i'm so proud to say this, about the egyptian women is that the more you stress them, the more they become more creative in getting over this stress and trying to build a new future for themselves and for their country. in egypt , as women , i'm speaking as women , we believe that we have an essential role in advancing our country and pushing it forward. that's why for sure, now we are getting together today, with larger protesters in egypt , mostly run and organized, and most of the participants are women , who are calling for freedom. personally, i'm working on several projects that are either directly or indirectly empowered by grassroots women in the streets, in rural areas , in poor areas, so they can help the elite women who want to be part of the decision making process choose their way, choose a parliament, choose a constitutional committee, and help them have the bright future they are dreaming to have.
>> i know that you, in your own experience, have been able to get graduate degrees , you're working at tufts university . how did you, in your childhood, in your family, have the opportunities? what empowered you?
>> actually, i belong to family -- it's a conservative egyptian family. everything for them is -- or the concept of having a girl who was impassioned and ready to travel abroad and go all over the world is the world is a bit taboo in any family and most families in egypt . it took me a long time to break it. i'm grateful for certain people including the fletcher school people and definitely my organization who empowered me and helped me to leverage my dreams into action, and ultimate ultimately, i was able to have this on the ground in a way i hope it is helping push things forward.
>> indeed it is. while we meet today, we also should say something about the women of afghanistan who's rights are now, we fear, bemised drastic ally especially by the republishing online on the website of president karzai himself. new law that would curtail women 's rights there there were fought for with american blood , sweat and tears and fortune as well. this struggle continues. as far as egypt is concerned, i know you're not not giving up. thank you so much.