Tell It to the Women… Obama Compares Poland’s Solidarity Movement to Egypt’s Arab Spring

It took the sexual assault and beating of a CBS reporter for the American media to finally report on the sexual abuse epidemic in Egypt.

They didn’t seem to notice that during many of the protests this year in Egypt the men and women were often separated.

People pray on Tahrir, or Liberation Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday Jan. 31, 2011. A coalition of opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo’s streets Tuesday to ratchet up pressure for President Hosni Mubarak to leave. (AP/Ben Curtis)

The women were excited to be at the rally… Off to the side.

Women demonstrate in Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. More than a quarter-million people flooded into the heart of Cairo Tuesday, filling the city’s main square in by far the largest demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave after nearly 30 years in power. (AP/Tara Todras-Whitehill)


Of course, there’s a reason why the women are separated from the men in Egypt. A recent study revealed that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women in Cairo said they had been harassed.

Today Barack Obama compared the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia to the Solidarity movement in Poland.
ABC Local reported:

Capping an extensive trip to Europe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that the United States must always “leave room” to throw financial and moral support behind nations fighting for freedoms even during times of employment troubles and high gas prices at home.

In Poland, which Obama hailed as world model of democratic transition, he said it is the responsibility of the U.S. to support the sometimes wrenching, roiling push for democracy and human rights around the globe. In defending his drive to improve U.S. relations with Russia, Obama also made clear to protect Poland’s security against any threats in its neighborhood, leaving no doubt about the NATO code of members: “We defend each other.”

The president sought to build his case that America and the international community have a vested stake in the Arab revolt that is defining much of North Africa and the Middle East. He said the U.S. cannot dictate outcomes but can help, and he cited Poland as inspiration.

“Poland’s story demonstrates how a proud and determined and enthusiastic people can overcome extraordinary challenges and build a democracy,” the president said at a brief news conference as his six-day trip to Ireland, England, France and Poland neared its end.

Obama is set to return home to familiar domestic challenges over debt and the pace of job creation as the field of potential Republican presidential contenders takes shape and draws growing attention. A tired-looking president seemed ready to head home, even counting down the days at one point in his trip.

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