Egypt: Constitutional Committee excluding women ends up with Amendments excluding women Print E-mail

 

 Wednesday, 02 March 2011

Statement:

The Constitutional Amendments Exclude Women

Read in Arabic HERE  and scroll down to read reports that the post-Mubarak Committee charged with amending Egypts constitution began the task with the marginalizing of female legal experts

"The Egyptian Coalition for Civic Education and Women's Participation" has received and reviewed the constitutional amendments.

These amendments have led to great worries amongst the coalition for they did not achieve what the Egyptian people aimed for, nor meet the revolution's demands.

As such the amendments are restoring the system of the past regime.

The Coalition has many notices as follows: Article 75:The article was amended to guarantee that "Egypt’s president is born to two Egyptian parents and cannot be married to a non-Egyptian woman. Neither he nor his parents shall have another nationality except the Egyptian one. He shall practice his own civil and political rights".

These amendments limited nominations to men only for many reasons:

1. The phrase "cannot be married to non-Egyptian woman" " " is only limited to the spouse of man; the thing that means that the president will necessarily be a man.
2. The claim that masculine nouns in Arabic language include both men and women is not an accurate claim, because the Holy Qur'an that is the source of the Arabic language mentioned, most of the times, women beside men when saying " The submitting men, the submitting women, the believing men, the believing women … " and did not mention a masculine noun as a reference to both men and women.
3. The word "non-Egyptian woman" limited the nomination to men only, if we agree that masculinity could include both male and female, but femininity could not apply to male.

Thus, we suggest that the text reads as "shall not be married to a non-Egyptian".

Article 76: Amendment of this article reflects a clear disruption of equal opportunities, since they equated a candidate for party who will gain seat by the parliamentary elections with an independent candidate who has to gain 30000 votes from 15 governorates. Thus, this approach paves the way before the electoral briberies, buying votes, in addition that it puts the future of the president in the hands of a specific power.

Article 189: As for the formation of a constituent in order to issue a new constitution by elections of People's assembly and Upper House; it makes the constituent prone to balance of powers inside the council, since it does not stipulate standards that ensure existence of women and men experts from outside the councils. The text is general which may lead to having all the members of the constituent are those of the council.

Thus the new constitution will not be created to be a constitutional or legal regime that is desired for Egypt; instead it will be created according to the dominated powers in the parliament. Thus, it is necessary to include a condition whereby the constituent should have experts from outside both of the two councils, in which gender balance should be taken in consideration in order to have sound participation of women experts. In Addition to the dire need for an election methodology that ensures participation of all members of society.

Members of the coalition:
The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights- Helwan
Andalus institute for tolerance and anti-violence studies- Cairo
Association of Human Communication- Cairo
Health and Environmental Culture Society- Cairo
Egyptian Medical Women's Association- Helwan
Citizen's Society for Development and Human Rights- Giza
Vision Society for Enlightenment and Community Development- El Menia
Association of population development and the preservation of the environment- Cairo
The Egyptian Society for Marketing and Development- Cairo
With You Society for Social Assistance- Helwan
Gozour Society for the comprehensive Development- Helwan
The Egyptian Society for Family Empowerment- Giza
The Legislative Association in Bakri Mastour- Qalioubia
Pioneers Society for Development- Giza
Al Zohor Association for Development - 6th of October
Society Development Association in Sakil – 6th of October
The Egyptian Association for Environmental and Humanitarian Development - Al Qualiubia
Our Society Association for Development and Human Rights- Cairo
Association of Women and Child Development - Al Qualiubia
The legislative Association in Saa'd Zaghlol – Al Qualiubia
Legal Association for the support of Family and Human rights – Cairo
Mary Girgis Youth Association – Cairo
Hope Association in Al Aslougy – Sharkia
Women for Development Association – 6th of October
The Egyptian Association for Defend and support – Helwan
Ayatollah Association – Giza
Economic Liberalization Association – Cairo
Family Care Association- Giza
Al Sharkia Youth Association – Al Sharkia
Al Mashrek Association for Population Development – Sharkia
Cairo Center for Development – Giza
Kelmetna Association for Dialogue and Development – Cairo
Friends of Youth and Environment Association – October
Frasis Charitable Association for Society's Development – Gharbia
Al Hayat Association in Zifta
The Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for Development – Giza
Future Association for Development – Aswan
Nahdet el Fayuom Association- Fayuom
The Association of the interested people in education and development – Fayoum
Al Tanweer Centre for Development and Human Rights – Giza
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights – Cairo
Nama'a Association for Development and Human Rights – Al Gharbia
Hawaa Future Association – Giza
Ismailia Generations for Development Association – Ismailia
Haq Center for Democracy and Human Rights – Cairo
Association for the Support and Development of Education – Giza
New Fustat Association - Cairo
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights – Cairo
Bint Al Nil Association – Cairo
Kirtas Masr Association – Cairo
Egyptian Democratic Institute – Cairo
Oioun Masr Association for human rights – Gharbia
Shoa'a Association for Development and Human Rights Studies / under construction – Giza
I am Egyptian Association – Cairo
Red Crescent Association – Sohag
Human Rights Association – Assiut
Al Hana Women's Association – Cairo
Friends of Youth and the environment - Qaliubiya
Center of Children's rights – Cairo
Konouz Association for Development - Kafr El- Sheikh
The Arab dream Association - Kafr El-Sheikh
Community Development Association in Zafarana - Kafr El-Sheikh
Alrob' Charitable Association - Kafr El-Sheikh
Social Welfare Association - Kafr El-Sheikh
Resala association – Kafr el Sheikh
Craft Projects Development Association- Kafr el Shiekh
Bint El Riaydh Association- Kafr el Sheikh
Said Salem Society Development Association- Kafr el Sheikh
The National Center for Human Rights- Kafr el Sheikh
Association of modern women- Kafr el Sheikh
The Egyptian Center for Creativity and development and training
Middle East Media Association- Cairo
Women and Development Association- Alexandria
Tanweer Center Association- El Menia
Center for the defenders of human rights- Cairo
Our Dream Foundation for comprehensive Development – Qaliubia
Nahdet Misr Association- El Menia
El Sabr ei El Eman Association- Helwan
Dakahlia people Association – Helwan
Association of cities of steel- Helwan
Egyptian media professionals- Gharbia
The Arab Center- Cairo
The Egyptian Center for Creativity and Development
Future Businesswomen Association
Regional Federation for Associations- Gharbia
Shehab Foundation for Comprehensive Development Foundation
Seekers of Society Development Association- Fayuom
Association of Social Care for the specific Categories- Helwan
Arab Women Association for Development- Ismailia
Hayat Center Evangelical Church Doubbara Palace- Cairo
National Association for Youth Rights- Cairo
Civil Association for Children Cooperation- Cairo
Tijan Association for Society Development- Ismailia
Society Development Association in Bahnsa- El Menia
El Ghad El Moushreq Association for the Differently needed and Development
Association of Industrial Development Science for the Crafts
National Youth Association- Helwan
Today Youth Association (Shabab El Hoyum)- Helwan
Fayuom's Sons Association for Development- Helwan
Human Lovers Association- Helwan
Society Association for Development in Shaloufa- Suez
Coast people Association for Society Development- Suez
Society Development Association in Bandaf- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Kafr Badran- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Jadida- Sharqia
Masriya Association for Human Resources- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Magzer- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Shalshalmon- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Beni Khalil- Sharqia
The Coptic Charitable Association in Meet Beshar- Sharqia
Shahid FeloBatir Association in Kafr Salama Ibrahim- Sharqia
Society Development Association in Shobra el Enab- Sharqia
Zohoor el Hayat Association- Alexandria
El Sendousy Foundation- Alexandria
The Egyptian Legal and Constitutional Association for Human Rights- Alexandria
Family Planning Association- Alexandria
Youth Without Borders Community- Cairo
For more information contact the Coalition coordinator "The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights":
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 21 February 2011 Issue 517

Women & gender

Egypt: Women excluded from constitutional committee

'The institutions and organisations below have signed this statement in disapproval of the criteria and formation of the Constitutional Committee, whereby the committee does not include a single female expert. Advancing with a committee like this, triggers fears and suspicions with regards to the future of Egypt and the transitional phase.'

:

Statement: 17 February 2011

Egypt Constitutional Committee Starts Working While Neglecting and Excluding Female Legal Experts

The Constitutional committee starts working while neglecting and excluding female legal experts

The institutions and organizations below have signed this statement in disapproval of the criteria and formation of the Constitutional Committee, whereby the committee does not include a single female expert. Advancing with a committee like this, triggers fears and suspicions with regards to the future of Egypt and the transitional phase which Egypt is currently witnessing after the 25th of January Revolution. This issue poses a critical question with regards to democracy and the main aims of the revolution which were initially spelled out as equality, freedom, democracy and participation of all citizens.

We are hereby questioning the criteria according to which the members of the constitutional committee are chosen; are they based on political criteria or on values of equality and justice as spelled out by the revolution? If the criteria are based on efficiency and integrity, then why are female legal experts excluded despite the fact that Egypt is rich with lots of female experts in constitutions whether in the Supreme Constitutional Court or the Faculties of Law.

We believe that as Egyptian women largely and equally participated in the revolution with Egyptian men and some of them have been jailed and still lost while others have even martyred, they have the right to participate in building the New Egyptian State on the simple basis of citizenship.

Nevertheless, we strongly have confidence in the discretion of the Military Council in guiding Egypt towards democracy. Hence, we are making the statement today to stress on the values of citizenship and participation of women, specifically in the Constitutional Committee at the moment.

1- The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights- Helwan
2- Andalus institute for tolerance and anti-violence studies- Cairo
3- The Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL) – Cairo
4- Association of Human Communication- Cairo
5- The United Group- Cairo
6- Association of Arab Women- Cairo
7- Health and Environmental Culture Society- Cairo
8- Egyptian Medical Women's Association- Helwan
9- Citizen's Society for Development and Human Rights- Giza
10- Maat Foundation for Peace and Development and Human Rights- Cairo
11- Vision Society for Enlightenment and Community Development- El Menia
12- Association of population development and the preservation of the environment- Cairo
13- Our Society Association for Development and Human Rights- Cairo
14- The Egyptian Society for Marketing and Development
15- The Egyptian Foundation for Family Development- Giza
16- Association of Middle East for Peace and Human Rights- Cairo
17- With You Society for Social Assistance- Helwan
18- Gozour Society for the comprehensive Development- Helwan
19- The Egyptian Society for Family Empowerment- Giza
20- The Legislative Association in Bakri Mastour- Qalioubia
21- Pioneers Society for Development- Giza
22- Al Zohor Association for Development - 6th of October
23- Society Development Association in Sakil – 6th of October
24- The Egyptian Association for Environmental and Humanitarian Development - Al Qualiubia
25- Our Society Association for Development and Human Rights - Giza
26- The Egyptian Association for the spread of environmental awareness - Al Qualiubia
27- Association of Women and Child Development - Al Qualiubia
28- The legislative Association in Saa'd Zaghlol – Al Qualiubia
29- Legal Association for the support of Family and Human rights - Cairo
30- Mary Girgis Youth Association - Cairo
31- Hope Association in Al Aslougy - Sharkia
32- Women for Development Association – 6th of October
33- The Egyptian Association for Defend and support - Helwan
34- Ayatollah Association - Giza
35- Economic Liberalization Association - Cairo.
36- Al Sharkia Youth Association – Al Sharkia
37- Al Mashrek Association for Population Development - Sharkia
38- Cairo Center for Development - Giza
39- Kelmetna Association for Dialogue and Development - Cairo
40- El Nadim Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of victims of violence - Cairo
41- Friends of Youth and Environment Association - October
42- Future Girls Association for Development - Cairo.
43- Frasis Charitable Association for Society's Development - Gharbia
44- Al Hayat Association in Zifta- Gharbia
45- The Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for Development - Giza
46- Future Association for Development - Aswan
47- The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement - Fayuom
48- Al Fayoum Renaissance Association - Fayuom
49- The Association of the interested people in education and development – Fayuom
50- Al Tanweer Centre for Development and Human Rights - Giza
51- The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights – Cairo
52- Al Mahrousa Center – Cairo
53- Nama'a Association for Development and Human Rights – Al Gharbia
54- The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists – Cairo
55- Association For the Development and Enhancement of Women – Cairo
56- Hawaa Future Association – Giza
57- Ismailia Generations for Development Association – Ismailia
58- Haq Center for Democracy and Human Rights – Cairo
59- Association for the Support and Development of Education – Giza
60- World Without Borders Association for Human Rights - Cairo
61- New Fustat Association- Cairo
62- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights- Cairo
63- Egyptian Association for Disseminating & Developing Legal Awareness- Giza

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Wednesday February 16, 2011

Egypt activists ask: "Where are the women?"

By Dina Zayed

CAIRO (Reuters) - The lack of women on a committee charged with amending Egypt's constitution for elections post-Mubarak casts doubt over whether the country can develop into a true democracy, a group of activists said Wednesday.

The group of over 60 non-governmental organization and activists said the committee, which is presided over by a respected retired judge known for his independence, had begun work Wednesday by "marginalizing female legal experts."

"This sheds doubt over the future of democratic transition in Egypt and raises questions about the future of participation, and whether this revolution sought to liberate all of society or just some of its sectors," a statement said.

Mass demonstrations that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from his 30-year rule were led by both men and women.

"We affirm that Egyptian woman participated in the revolution, and proof of such is that many remain missing or arrested. They have every right to participate in building the Egyptian nation," the group said in a statement sent by Nahed Shehata of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights.

Protesters have demanded several changes, including making presidential races fair and putting limits on a president's term in office. Mubarak served almost five six-year terms and had been expected to seek a sixth.

The committee is due to propose its changes within 10 days as a prelude to parliamentary and presidential elections due to take place in six months.

STANDARDS OF SELECTION
The committee includes one senior Muslim Brotherhood legal expert in an unprecedented move to include the Islamist opposition group, but the panel did not give details on how it selected its members.

"Signatures to this statement have received with great concern the list of committee members as there is no participation from female experts, which is unacceptable marginalization of half of society," the statement said.

"We also question the standards used to select the members of the committee," the group said, although adding they supported the military's efforts in moving to a democracy.

The role of women in Egyptian politics has been limited, with few occupying ministerial and parliamentary seats. Their role in the judiciary has been the subject of wide debate in recent years.

Last year, a top court ruled that women should be allowed to serve on the State Council, a court that tries cases involving the government and which had resisted including female judges.

Mubarak appointed Tahany el-Gibali, Egypt's first woman judge, to the Constitutional Court in 2003. Conservative judges campaigned to stop what they regarded as an exception from becoming a trend.

Activists called on the Higher Military Council to revisit "values of citizenship" and asked that female experts be incorporated in the constitutional committee.

(editing by Elizabeth Piper)