U.S. Policy in Egypt Needs to Make Equality a Top Priority

idea light bulb

In the two years since the Egyptian revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood has become the dominant force in Egyptian electoral politics. The U.S. government and other international actors have attempted in good faith to work with Muslim Brotherhood government leaders and with the group’s affiliated Freedom and Justice Party to remedy the array of political, security, and economic crises that require immediate attention in Egypt. But the Brotherhood’s views on the role of women in Egyptian society and recent efforts to codify these views into law are an increasing threat to the country’s nascent democracy.

Ensuring the rights of women should be a top priority for U.S. policy in Egypt since Egypt serves as a linchpin of the Middle East and a weathervane of progress for similar uprisings across the region. The Center for American Progress has continually said that U.S. policymakers should take a long view of the events in Egypt and help Egypt move toward a prosperous and pluralistic democracy. As U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson clearly stated in February, “To build the future Egypt deserves, Egypt will need its entire people, regardless of their faith, ethnic background, or gender.”

For more on this topic, please see: