Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Women in Egypt: still seen as second-class

By virtue of Egyptian women's groups complaining that no political opening was filled by a woman, their point that women and their rights in Egypt are not being addressed is valid.  It is doubtful that the situation will improve anytime soon as Islamic doctrine and Islamism gets a grip on the land of the Pharaoh's.

From TheDailyNewsEgypt.comApril 18 by Safaa Abdoun

Women's rights group condemns recent governor appointments  

CAIRO: The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) condemned the recent reshuffling and appointment of new governors in Egypt that excluded women, describing it as “disappointing and contradictory to the principles of citizenship, justice and equality.”

In a press statement, ECWR said that the recent appointments contradict the principles of the January 25 Revolution; the revolution where women participated effectively in all its phases and stood side by side with their male counterparts.

“The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights is worried that this exclusion may be intentional with the pretext that now is not the convenient time to talk about women’s rights,” the statement read.

The ECWR called on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s Cabinet to emphasize the principle of citizenship as “women should be represented equally in all phases of drawing Egypt's future because they play an effective role in society.”

The center also called on them to bear in mind women's fair representation in all leading positions, as well as “take clear action towards women's participation” and towards ensuring women's rights in laws in general and in public positions in particular.

Last week, Sharaf sacked twenty governors including those of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Qena, Suez, Menufiya, Assiut and Sharqeya who were removed in response to the demands of opposition groups and political activists, who described them as being “corrupt” and “illegitimate.”

Their newly-appointed replacements were sworn in on Saturday before the head of the ruling SCAF Mohamed Hussein Tantawy.

Political analyst Emad Gad from Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies said that the new governors appointed by the current cabinet and army council are the latest in a series of decisions which continue to sideline sectors of society in the post revolution period, despite the fact that everyone was equally represented during the revolution.

Gad cited the National Dialogue as an example of excluding certain segments of society.

Gad stressed that “without equality we won’t have true democracy” and so all groups have to come together and join forces as they did in the revolution in order to ensure equality during this developmental process since it’s the essence of a free country.

The ECWR compared the exclusive appointment of male governors in Egypt to the case in Tunisia, whose popular revolution had inspired the Egyptian Revolution saying, “When will we follow Tunisia in their progressive vision and their future plan which is based on the principle of citizenship?”

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