Participants at Karama’s May 14-16 Working Seminar entitled “Leveraging Women’s Power in the Arab Revolutions” released the following statement:
We the women from the Arab region who came together for three days to share our success in our revolutions, and to celebrate and confirm our demands to sustain what we have gained through years of struggle, hereby acknowledge:
- Women must have equal representation and participation in all democratic processes. Unless this occurs, democracy will remain just a theory.
- Women must be included in all decision-making bodies including constitutional reform committees and committees to draft election laws.
- We confirm women have contributed to make this change happen and should benefit fully from the fruits of these revolutions by being acknowledged as equal partners in an all spheres of life.
- We commit to plan strategically to stretch our arms to reach all women in our nations to continue demanding our rights and make our voices heard—the voices of the marginalized, the impoverished, women of all classes UNITED.
We pledge to continue to work together through our networks, our coalitions, pool our resources, and to put our differences aside to accomplish our goals.
We urge the international community, including our friends in the European Union Commission and the government of the The Netherlands, to pledge resources and technical support, and to acknowledge that the development of this region cannot be possible without the full engagement of half the population in each one of our countries.
We further urge the international community to neutralize aid and make it gender-sensitive to support women’s needs.
We have to confirm that these revolutions have economic costs that have impacted women first. They need to be supported and aid relief should be a priority from global organizations.
Investing in women’s economic development and political participation should be a national security priority. Women should not be the victims of armed conflict and should be protected immediately.