Women are "the slaves of this age," according to an Egyptian politician who took a stand against the country's Muslim Brotherhood to back a UN declaration on violence against women.
Mervat Tallawy, who headed the Egyptian delegation at a United Nations conference that ended late Friday, said that despite the hard-fought declaration, secured after two weeks of tense negotiations, more help must be given to women in the Middle East.
Tallawy stunned many at the UN Commission on the Status of Women -- marked by blocking tactics by conservative Muslim and Roman Catholic states -- by backing the document that set global standards to combat violence against women.
Despite growing human rights, wealth and other progress, Tallawy told reporters after the landmark accord was approved that there is still too much discrimination.
"Women are the slaves of this age. This is unacceptable and particularly in our region," Tallawy said. (...)
"international solidarity is needed for women's empowerment and preventing this regressive mood whether in the developing countries or developed, in the Middle East in particular." (...)
Tallawy said there is "a global wave of conservatism, of repression against women. And this paper is a message that if we can get together, hold power together, we can be a strong wave against this conservatism."
When asked about the Muslim Brotherhood's opposition, the official said she had already challenged Morsi in his office about Egypt's constitution.