Tina Brown, editor in chief of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, is joining us. And she's hosting a women of the world summit this week. Some of the women involved are joining us now. Dr. Nawal el Saadawi, a long-time activist for women's rights in Egypt. Zainab Salbi, the Iraqi founder of Women for Women International. And Sussan Tahmadebi, who has been at the forefront of the struggle for women's rights in Iran.
Ladies, thank you for joining us. Who could fail to be optimistic? When you look at that piece, do you think gains are solidified and set in stone?
SALBI: No. When I look at this piece, I first get emotional to see that women are rising up and joining men in the streets. I also remember history, history where women in the Middle East have rose up before, participated in revolutions against French colonialism in Algeria, against the shah of Iran. So we have that history, but it often gets hijacked at the moment of their victory. We often get sent back home.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's discuss that. Tina Brown, you are also going to show us the new cover of "Newsweek," which we're going to put up. And it is about 150 women who shape the world with Hillary Clinton as the cover.
What can somebody like the U.S. secretary of state and the rest of the global community do to help these women in these revolutions?
BROWN: Well, I think what is interesting right now is that Hillary Clinton, in fact, has actually met her moment, in a sense, because her long-held conviction has always been that women are the leading indicators. That women, if you empower women, you're going to make huge changes in the democracy movement and of course in the GDP of the countries concerned. And she's been pounding that drum for a long time.
So this issue of Newsweek, you see her really in action, what she is doing. We followed her to, for instance, on a trip to Yemen, just a few weeks before the Arab revolution, and saw her conducting a very robust town hall, where people were being encouraged to talk, women were being encouraged to ask about women's rights. And after that meeting, she met with a few of the women who clustered around her and asked them, said, can you help us educate women here? About the country here.
AMANPOUR: So education and helping with civil society and democracy.
BROWN: And also doing away with the barbaric custom, for instance, of child brides. But they did also say, not in such a way as to get us blowback. So it's all about how do you do that without big-footing the whole atmosphere.
AMANPOUR: Well, Nawal, here we are in your country. It has now got a revolution in place. A military committee is still running it. How are women's rights going to be enshrined in Egypt? Not even on the committee to write the constitution.
EL SAADAWI: I look at women's rights as global and local. And we cannot be liberated in Egypt in a country that is not liberated. Our problem is colonialism. I am here in New York, in Washington, and I want to speak to you, Americans, and the government. It's the problem of colonialism.
AMANPOUR: What do you mean by that?
EL SAADAWI: I mean, that, you know, if we are independent, if we're producing our food, then we will be OK. Now 50 percent of the people in Egypt earn under $2 a day because of American neo- colonialism (ph). You see. So women cannot be liberated in a country not liberated. You see?
AMANPOUR: Is that right?