Arab Spring: Aid depends on women's rights, Italian FM Terzi

Women in frontlines but not in parliaments, Emma Bonino said

16 July, 20:18

(ANSAMed) - ROME, JULY 16 - ''The direct link between women's rights and stability, inclusion and reconstruction will be our compass in evaluating our support to transition processes'' in newly liberated Arab countries, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said at the Women in Diplomacy conference here today.

''We expect the new Arab leaderships to respect women's rights constitutionally, socially and politically,'' Terzi said.

''The inclusion of women is necessary not only to society's advancement, but also to its security.'' Just as women participated in the uprisings, and then in the elections that followed, they must now participate in the running of their countries, Terzi said. ''Decisions made in the absence of women lose their political legitimacy,'' Terzi said. Senate Vice President Emma Bonino said that the Arab Spring ''has brought down the wall of fear, for men but also for women.'' ''Tunisian and Egyptian women were in the front lines during the uprisings, and ended up with fractional representation after the elections,'' Bonino said, adding that ''we have a duty to help and sustain'' the countries south of the Mediterranean in their transition to democracy.

Premier Mario Monti, who also spoke at the conference, said he wished he had more women in his cabinet, but that he has given his three women ministers ''key, traditionally male ministries: interior, justice, and labor.'' (ANSAMed).

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