Egypt president will support women's demands: Head of women's council

Ahram Online, Saturday 4 Aug 2012

Mervat El-Tellawi voices confidence in President Morsi after meeting about women's issues Saturday

Mervat El-Tellawi, Secretary-general of the National Council for Women (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Mervat El-Tellawi, secretary-general of the National Council for Women (NCW), said Saturday after meeting with President Morsi that although she was disappointed with the low number of women in the newly-appointed Cabinet, she "strongly felt" during her talks with the president that he supports the cause of Egyptian women and is willing to meet their demands.

"The president discussed the status of women in Egypt as well as the status of the council, and talked about the issue of development of women in rural areas. Asserting that women are the true indicator of success in achieving social justice," El-Tellawi said in a news conference following her meeting with Morsi Saturday afternoon.

El-Talawi, ex-social affairs minister and a prior vocal critic of the Mubarak regime, was elected last year by the NCW board as the new secretary-general. Previously, the NCW was a stronghold of Egypt's former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak.

The election of Morsi, a senior member of the conservative Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, has raised concern over the status of women issues in Egypt.

The newly-appointed Cabinet, whose members swore the oath Thursday, contains only two woman ministers, one of which is Coptic.

President Morsi was sworn in on 30 June after narrowly winning in the presidential elections second voting round in mid-June against Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

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