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Women's equal rights and political participation are critical to the establishment of democracies and to global security, peace, and development.

Letter to
Secretary General, United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Acting Executive Director, UN Women Ms. Lakshmi Puri
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay
Democracy without rights for women and marginalized groups is not real democracy. I stand with the women of the Middle East and North Africa – and across the globe – who are fighting for the right to be part of their countries’ evolving political systems.

I appeal to the United Nations to use every opportunity to advance the equal rights, political participation, and representation of women and marginalized groups in countries in transition. I ask the United Nations to appeal to member states, especially newly established governments the Middle East-North Africa region, to uphold their international commitments, in particular those stipulated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Only democracy, which respects the human rights and equality of all citizens, will bring peace to this region and to the world.

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