'This Week' Transcript: Sen. John McCain


EL SAADAWI: You see, I have to link that. It cannot be -- women's issues are not -- are global issues, local issues, politics, economics. It's everything.

AMANPOUR: No one is talking about the real big picture here.

SALBI: I would say we need to look at what happens to women as an indicator for the direction of a society. Usually we look at what happens to women as a marginal issue on the side. We need to shift that. Women are bellwether for the society. Progress starts with women and violence starts with women. And so rather than not worrying about preservation of women's rights in the constitution or labor laws, for example, which the Middle East still don't have equal rights for women, or education, or employment opportunities. We need to look at that as actually very important indicator for what is going to happen in Egypt or Afghanistan or Iraq or whatever countries that we're talking about.

AMANPOUR: Sussan, everybody is looking at the revolutions and thinking, oh, my goodness. We saw this in Iran 30 years ago. Women were on the streets in Iran, demanding something different than the monarchy. And then a year later after the revolution, they were on the streets again, complaining about being forced to wear the veil. How is this not going to happen in this region and particularly in Iran as well right now?

TAHMASEBI: I think the -- I would have to agree with what Zainab said. But I think the situation now is very different than 30 years ago. And what Nawal said, it is the global context. And we have the opportunity to really amplify women's voices in these countries.

We're surprised to see women out in the revolutions and on the streets. But the reality is for someone like myself, who lived in Iran and worked in Iran, it's not surprising at all to see it in Iran, to see it in Egypt because women are present. And wherever you are in these countries, there are women who are advocating for women's rights.

And I think one way to do that is that women's movements themselves need to be very vigilant in defending their rights. We need to have regional opportunities to make women's rights an indigenous issue and then global solidarity.

AMANPOUR: Tina, you know, everybody here obviously looks to this not just as a woman's issue, but also sort of a big picture issue of is this going to tamp down the whole idea of extremism, terrorism, is this a big blow to al Qaeda for instance?

BROWN: Well, if as Sussan right said, we have vigilant and the women in these countries have to be supported in every conceivable way. I mean, women like Nawal here have been working with this for you know, 30, 40 years, doing brave acts and speaking out at a time when -- Nawal was jailed for speaking out about feminist ideas and this repressive society. So it's about vigilance, it really is, and about doing everything America can to do it can to support and educate without being clumsy about it, without going in and creating blow back.

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