Hafsa Atef Shoman is not a day over twenty-five. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature. The Freedom and Justice party (FJP) in Beheira governorate (north of Cairo) nominated her to be on their electoral lists for the People’s Assembly. She became the youngest candidate for the party in the whole country, right up to the moment registration was closed for elections.
In an exclusive interview with Hafsa, she said to IkhwanWeb: "The FJP’s nomination of my modest person makes me really proud. To start with, I am proud that I meet the FJP’s criteria for selecting nominees, which include efficiency, openness to the world, social interaction, courage and political awareness".
Hafsa refutes and rejects claims that the role of women and girls is marginalized within the Muslim Brotherhood and the FJP.
"The best reply to these false charges is that the number of female nominees on FJP candidate lists is much higher than in liberal and leftist party lists. Yet the Muslim Brotherhood are traditionally accused of this. The same was true in the 2010 elections, as well," she said.
Then she added: "The role of women will grow with time within the Brotherhood and the FJP. Women are already well-represented in Muslim Brotherhood administration offices and are constantly involved in public work. They are nominated as candidates in elections, too".
Hafsa said: "I was involved in public work since I was a student at the University of Ain Shams. I was responsible for the management of the university campus in the Muslim Brotherhood female student organization. As female students, we were active in public work".
With respect to her ambition in the next elections, Hafsa said: "I have confidence that the Egyptian people, after January 25, enjoys sharper awareness, and will be able to side with the FJP lists, after the end of the scarecrow image with which the ousted regime painted the Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad".
Hafsa expressed her ambition to positively represent women in parliament and to adopt FJP methodology in the defence of women’s rights – women who were often oppressed during the reign of previous ruling regimes in Egypt, especially the Mubarak regime.
Hafsa is optimistic for women’s role in the next phase in Egypt. She explains: "Women, here, are not as the West believes. They will have a vital role that is as different as the Arab spring itself.. which was an expression of peaceful revolution amongst the Arab peoples, and then copied in the West where people angry with the regimes and systems went out in demonstrations occupying streets and cities”.
Sherif Heshmat, FJP youth representative in Beheira is 28 years old. He considers nominating a young-lady of this age on the party lists a positive step on the way of the anticipated revitalisation and rejuvenation of Egypt.
Osama Suleiman, FJP leader in Beheira, believes that building the future is entirely in the hands of young people who aspire to a new Egypt, full of freedom and democracy.
He stressed that the role of women within the party is no less than that of men. Altogether, they build the future. Through the nomination this young-lady, the party aspires to give a good example for youths aspiring to establish a new parliamentary life rooted in respect for human rights and fully comprehensive development and the achievement of the overall rejuvenation of Egypt.