THE INTERNATIONAL community should go to the rescue of women in Egypt or they will face discrimination like that experienced by women in Iran, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said in Dublin yesterday.
After accepting an honorary degree at University College Dublin for her commitment to justice and equality, Ms Ebadi said Iranian women became second-class citizens after the revolution in 1979. In Egypt, the military did not believe in the rights of women, she said.
“From the moment the Egyptian women took to Tahrir Square to take part in the protests, the Egyptian military forced these women to go through virginity tests, in order to allow them to prove that these women who were protesting were prostitutes,” she said.
“At this very sensitive juncture it’s imperative that the international community should go to the rescue of the Egyptian women otherwise they shall await the same fate as that of the women of Iran.”
Ms Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, was the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2003. She was also one of the first women judges in Iran in 1969. But after the Islamic revolution of 1979, she was demoted to clerical assistant.