Extracts from an interview of May Menassa, journalist at An-Nahar, on OTV, on March, 5, 2008
Interviewer: « How do you view the role of women in politics? »
« Women Should Say, First and Foremost, That We Need a Secular Country »
May Menassa: « We do not need women in the political world, as long as politics are not useful in any way. Many women work in clinics, many work for charities, but they constitute the silent element in society. We want to hear [their] voices louder than [those of] all those loudmouths on TV talk shows, who draw the people around them, so they can say that it is all about them.
« We need women to raise their voices, not just to work in clinics, in the Red Cross, and so on. The Red Cross is very important, this quiet resistance is very important, but today the time has come for women to speak their mind.
« Women should say, first and foremost, that we need a secular country. We don’t need a sectarian country. We are fed up with sectarianism. We’ve seen where sectarianism has got us. Other countries perceived us as weak, when they saw that each of us clings to his religion and fights for it. »
Mothers Do Not Give Birth So That Their Children Will Be Sent to Die, But So That They Will Live
« It is time for all to women unite – Shi’ite, Sunnis, Maronites, and Druze. They should leave their sects behind, leave them for the politicians, and become educated and secular women, who work towards shaping this unique country – a country that does not send its children to war, because, as I’ve said, mothers do not give birth so that their children will be sent to die, but so that they will live. »