Egyptian women stood in the vanguard of the 30 June Revolution when they sensed the danger to their country and the attempts to hijack the [country's identity], Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Thursday during the African women session on the second day of the Aswan forum.
El-Sisi said that when he called on the people to take to the streets and give a mandate to confront terrorism, Egyptian women were at the forefront of the demonstrations that exceeded 35 million citizens, in the month of Ramadan and during fasting hours.
The president stressed that Egyptian women have never once complained about "providing martyrs" in the fight against terrorism over the past five years, and that they have been able to organise their lives to withstand the country's economic reform program.
"Although Egypt has witnessed a difficult economic reform programme, not even one single Egyptian citizen has come out to protest against it," El-Sisi pointed out.
The president called on all Egyptian women to take the initiative and not wait for anyone to give them their rightful place.
"I know that some men would disagree with these words, [but] if we have fairness we should appreciate what women do... without the women of the world humanity wouldn't exist and this is what we should remind each other of," he said.
"Every time women are asked to hold a position, whether in the government or the provinces, they show that they are the most responsible and efficient and the least corrupt... there is no corruption at all," the president said.
President El-Sisi also stressed that he would not sign any law that would adversely affect women's rights, presumably referring to a personal status draft law that is expected to be discussed in parliament and which some say would restrict the rights of women in family matters.
The first session of the second day of the Aswan forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, which is being held in Aswan on 11-12 December, kicked off under the title 'To Enhance the Role of African Women to Achieve Peace, Security and Development.'
The forum is attended by a number of African leaders and representatives from various Western countries.
In his opening remarks at the forum on Wednesday, El-Sisi urged African leaders to unite for peace and stability.