Engineer Khayrat Al-Shater, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, affirmed that the key and effective role of women cannot be marginalized. He pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood has the highest representation of women compared to other similar organizations.
Al-Shater, during the opening session of the First Conference of the Sisters that was held on July 2nd, 2011, stressed that it is now time to launch the women's potentials with no restrictions except the legitimate constraints of the Islamic teachings, so they can contribute to the renaissance of their society. He said that the beginning should be through studies and research, followed by planning and implementation in order to achieve our goals towards renaissance and development.
He added: "It is a historic moment worthy of thanks to Allah, because this conference is the first for the Sisters and Muslim women for nearly sixty years." He said that these years have passed with their sweet and bitter moments and with all the sacrifices and blood of the martyrs. Al-Shater said that the Brotherhood as a group bore a heavy burden until this moment. He further added: "Therefore, I congratulate all of us and Egypt which recently regained its freedom. We pray to Allah that His grace will guide us until we reimburse full freedom for the whole nation and achieve its renaissance."
He pointed out that the first and main task now is rebuilding and helping the rebirth of the nation on the basis of Islam. He said that this process will take place in several phases; the first involves the construction of the Muslim individual, home, and community, while the second phase is for building alliances and coalitions to unite people's efforts and aggregate the work towards the renaissance of our country.
Al-Shater added that the third phase is to reflect our action in all political, economic, social and cultural areas and to contribute to the construction of the new Egypt, indicating that the Brotherhood is aware that it is not a trustee in charge of commanding the renaissance, but as a group - in terms of its sense of responsibility - it is forwarding and proposing various ideas that add to the development of the nation. He said it is the responsibility of each member of the Egyptian society today, Muslims and Christians, women and men, and young and old to contribute and provide.
He pointed out that in the coming period, we will inevitably pass through three basic stages: the first phase is preparation and challenges, which is the stage that we are now living through because of the political vacuum that currently exists. We are working to build a stable democratic political system, fair elections, consolidating the circulation of power and the rule of law, until we make sure that everyone in Egypt has equal opportunities to obtain the necessary level of freedom, prosperity and decent life.
He added that the second
stage is the stage of "getting out of the bottle's neck", meaning the restructuring of governmental institutions and the development of resources. This stage needs time, which is approximately one to three years. The third stage is the stage of "renaissance and development" and it requires between twenty to thirty years, along with collaborative action by the people who feel they share the responsibility for fulfilling all this.
Al-Shater emphasized that the current goal of the Brotherhood regarding women's work and action is to strengthen the overall community action and activities concerned with family care for the economically troubled segments of the society to remove them from the low income and poverty bracket towards a sound and decent life. He said that the Brotherhood intends to work in all the dimensions that are involved with this; i.e. on the Dawa (breaching) level as well as intellectually, educationally, politically and economically.
Therefore, he says, it is necessary to focus on community work, planning and supporting it. He said that families would be a key building block in the formation of a strong successful society in Egypt.