Would the global trade come to a standstill as supply chain crisis worsens?    EBRD vice president heads delegation to Egypt to discuss new country strategy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Cyprus sign deal for electricity grid link    Russia to lift COVID restrictions on flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts on Nov. 9    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    Egypt hosts regional conference of EU refugee agency EASO    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Over 100 officials resign from Tunisia's main Islamist party    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egyptian court bans use of mosques for political purposes    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    Refugees in fear as sentiment turns against them in Turkey    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Huawei Technologies has invested $10 mln over 5 years in innovation centres in Egypt    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Egyptian women still struggling for rights 2 years after revolution
Women's groups are actively campaigning for women's rights despite what they describe as inadequate electoral laws, poor political representation and a problematic constitution
Published in Ahram Online on 12 - 02 - 2013

"The revolution is not 18 days, nor a year, or two. The revolution is permanent. The fact that we, women, have not reached our aspirations does not mean we should lose hope,” women's rights activist Mariam Kirollos told Ahram Online.
Kirollos said that she is proud of Egyptian women who have been active during the Egyptian revolution either on the front lines, or in the field hospitals and polling stations.
However, women's political representation in 2012, whether in the Constituent Assembly or the dissolved parliament, is far from what Kirollos and other women's rights activists aspire to.
“We are moving backward,” said Nehad Abou El-Komsan, head of the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR), explaining that the current cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil after the latest reshuffle includes only one woman, “which was the case 60 years ago during President Nasser's time.”
Abou El-Komsan added that there were four female minsters in the last cabinet of Mubarak's presidency.
The Egyptian women's status report for 2012 by ECWR also reveals the factual deterioration of women's position. Egypt ranked first among countries witnessing a decline in the political status of women, ranking 126 on women's rights this year according to the Global Gender Gap Report.
Regarding women's holding ministerial positions, Egypt ranked 95 out of 125 countries. As for women holding governor positions, Egypt ranked the lowest, with zero female governors.
Egypt also ranked first in the list of countries that recorded a decline in economic opportunities for women compared to previous years. As for the proportion of women to men in the labour force, Egypt ranked 130 out of 134 countries, as the percentage of unemployment among women is four times higher than that tomen.
A problematic constitution
Women occupied seven per cent of the Constituent Assembly formed in 2012 to formulate the current constitution.
“Most of its female members belonged to Islamic parties and do not speak for the majority of Egyptian women,” said Mona Ezzat, member of the New Woman Foundation, adding that the only female human rights activist in the assembly, Manal El-Tibi, resigned.
Ezzat explained that different women's rights organisations presented suggestions to the Constituent Assembly regarding women's rights to be tackled in the constitution; “however, their efforts went down the drain.”
One of the suggestions was establishing an organisation that women can approach when encountering inequality.
“The constitution instead included generic words and lacked mechanisms to protect against gender inequality and violence.”
The constitution also includes problematic articles for women. Abou El-Komsan referred to Article 10, which is the only article that addresses women as a particular group and was part of the moral foundations of society chapter, stating that, “the state shall provide free motherhood and childhood services and shall balance between a woman's obligations toward the family and public work. The state shall provide for special care and protection for single mothers, divorced women and widows.”
Abou El-Komsan explained that it implies a limitation for women as “caregivers.”
“Also, raising children is a societal responsibility; it is not only the mother's.”
Reacting to this article, Human Rights Watch said, “the state's role should be confined to ensuring equality and non-discrimination, without interfering with a woman's choices about her life, family, and profession or to justify discrimination on that basis.”
Abou El-Komsan referred to Article 36, which states that “the state is committed to taking all constitutional and executive measures to ensure equality of women with men in all walks of political, cultural, economic and social life, without violation of the rules of Islamic jurisprudence."
The phrase, "rules of Islamic jurisprudence" can open the door to extremist interpretations of jurisprudence that can be hostile to women, Abou El-Komsan noted.
The dissolved parliament
Although different women's organisations and the National Council for Human Rights opted for the quota system to safeguard women's representation in the 2011/2012 parliament, the quota system was cancelled and instead it was established that "each list should include at least one woman," the ECWR's report, What Women Lost and What Egypt Lost, stated.
In the nomination phase, the political parties “broke their promises” about having female candidates near the top of the lists, which led to two per cent representation of women in the parliament.
Abou El-Komsan noted that four women of the eight elected in the now-dissolved parliament were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. “I do not consider Brotherhood female members as representatives of Egyptian women because their first loyalty is to the Brotherhood,” she stated.
Furthermore, the dissolved parliament that was dominated by members affiliated with political Islam included moves hostile to women, the first ECWR report revealed. The Freedom and Justice former parliament member Mohamed El-Omda requested the cancelation of Article 20 of the litigation procedures of the Personal Status Law, the so-called khola law.
Former Nour Party MP Hamada Soliman requested the reduction of the age of custody to nine for girls and seven for boys, instead of 15 for boys and until marriage for girls.
“There is no hope for women's empowerment and equality under the current regime,” Ezzat said, contemplating the future of women's rights in Egypt.
Abou El-Komsan expects weak female representation in the coming parliament, especially as the Shura Council recently rejected a proposal that would have mandated that at least one woman be included “in the first half of each electoral list.”
Similar to the previous elections, Abou El-Komsan expects that women will be positioned at the bottom of electoral lists.
Abou El-Komsan went on to explain that 108 countries in the world follow the quota system for women, including Sweden and India, to ensure women's representation as a way to protect women against “culture ills” within societies.
“The whole idea of having a woman on every electoral list is just there to send a message to the Brotherhood's foreign ally that they are not against women. If they were truly keen on women's empowerment, they would have invested in developing new female cadres able to compete and win.”
Ezzat also noted that the current regime is not interested in women's education or political empowerment. “It serves them best if women remain uneducated so they can make use of them as an election bloc whose votes they can buy with essential goods."
Although 2012 treated Egyptian women unfairly, they responded with persistence and activism. More than 50 women's marches were organised in 2012 that either called for women's rights or other demands, the ECWR first report noted.
Women also used creative ways to defend their causes, such as cutting their hair to protest the constitution or holding cooking pans to protest the rise of prices.
On a positive note, Kirollos mentioned the increase of awareness on women's rights among women of Egypt. “Egyptian women started to realise that they are not second-class citizens.”
Ezzat believes that the hope for women's rights in Egypt lies in the success of the revolution; when the revolutionary forces that called for social justice lead the country.
For Kirollos, hope lies in Egyptian women and their determination. “The more oppression women experience, the more they fight back.”
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/63114.aspx


Clic here to read the story from its source.