Fletcher in the News

Dalia Ziada (GMAP11) Profiled by MSNBC on International Women's Day

Pushing the Egyptian women’s movement

Long before the Arab Spring, Dalia Ziada was promoting non-violent action and democratic reform in Egypt and just last year she ran – but lost – her bid for Parliament. Ziada joins NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to talk about the challenges she’s faced.

A.M: And continuing our celebration of International Women’s Day, we turn our forecast to Egypt . Long before the Arab spring, one woman, Dalia Ziada, blogger and women rights activist, was promoting nonviolent action and democratic reform. Last year Dalia ran but lost her bid for Egypt’s parliament. This week she is being honored by the "Newsweek" and Daily Beast summit as one of the world's 150 fearless women. Dalia Ziada joins me now. Very good to meet you and look forward to seeing you in New York later this week.

D.Z: Hello.

A.M: You were such an early voice online for freedom, for democracy in Egypt. How do you assess the progress or language of progress so far in Egypt after the Arab Spring?

D.Z: It's disappointing now what we're seeing regarding women’s status in Egypt after the Arab Spring. We're almost marginalized from any decision making process , either for some reasons that are related to the mentalities that are now ruling the country, through the military system, which usually used to not care much in the past for women rights . Because of its distraction and anything, or on the other hand, the rise, which i think is a very strong threat to women’s rights now. So you can say women in Egypt now are almost stuck between two larger stones, but we are on one side and extremism on the other side. …

D.Z: Actually, I belong to a conservative Egyptian family. Everything for them is -- or the concept of having a girl who was impassioned and ready to travel abroad and go all over the world is the world is a big taboo in any family and most families in Egypt. It took me a long time to break it. I'm grateful for certain people including those at the Fletcher School and definitely my organization who empowered me and helped me to leverage my dreams into action, and ultimate ultimately, I was able to have this on the ground in a way I hope it is helping push things forward.

Watch the full interview (more)