Oppression of women universal: Egyptian writer

Madrid (IANS/EFE) Egyptian writer Nawal Al-Saadawi on Tuesday said the oppression of women was a “universal issue that has nothing to do with a certain religion or nationality”, but related to the existing “patriarchal, economic and religious system” of the world.

Al-Saadawi, 84, said this at a press conference in Madrid before attending Wednesday’s meeting, organised by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, or AECID, to discuss equality in northern Africa and the Middle East.

Al-Saadawi called on men and women to join together for the “joint struggle” to address the main challenge of “understanding the roots of this problem”, which does not have anything to do with the religious issues of “Muslims, Christians, Jews or Hindus”, but are related to capitalist systems, which enforce the idea of establishing “classes” within societies.

In the same context, the Egyptian writer explained that the challenges faced by Spanish women were similar to those of Syrians, Egyptians and Iraqi women, noting that “women are all in the same boat”.

Al-Saadawi was critical of the policies of international powers, and considered that the administration of US President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton worked together with the Muslim Brotherhood group in order to derail the Egyptian revolution, fearing that Egypt would break away.

She noted that fundamentalist religious movements such as the Islamic State, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram were products of capitalism and the US administration.

As for the Syrian crisis, Al-Saadawi criticised the “hypocrisy” of the world’s governments, which do not support democracy and human rights, but rather serve their own interests.

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