Why and How Long? The Constitutional Rights of Women…Postponed Indefinitely

The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights was dismayed by the decision made by the State Council judges in the emergency and second meeting of the General Assembly on March 1st 2010. The meeting was a follow-up to the decision of the consultants during the first meeting of the General Assembly held on February 15th, 2010. The consultants reaffirmed the ban on appointing women to judiciary positions in the State Council.

The decision was based on those present, which included 319 who supported the ban on women’s appointment to judiciary positions while 43 members were absent from the emergency meeting. Thus, the number of members who rejected the appointment of women became 317 instead of the original 334.

The General Assembly expressed their appreciation to other judicial bodies with regards to their decisions to make internal affairs arrangements based on what is considered suitable working conditions for women.
ECWR respects the complete independence of the judiciary, yet wonders:

  • Does independence justify violating the Constitution, Law, and the decision of the Supreme Council for Judicial Bodies (which is granted constitutionally responsibility for the common affairs of judicial bodies according to article (173) and that previously accepted women’s appointment to judiciary positions) and leaving every judicial body to make decisions according to its own system?
  • Does a lack of organized procedures for entering the judiciary mean that we violate the rights of women indefinitely by preventing them to enter judiciary positions?
  • Is it allowed to be prejudice towards the origin of rights, the Constitution and the law, because of reasons related to the infrastructure of courts and the headquarters of judges according to the discussions of the General Assembly?

ECWR views that it is unacceptable to violate women’s rights under the assumption that it is a form of protection, especially in a time when female graduates from the School of Medicine substitute in far away governorates, far from their homes and occupy various jobs in Egypt according to efficiency standards. The exclusion of women to participate in the judiciary has been rejected for unclear reasons and indefinitely.

ECWR expresses its utmost respect to all judges and consultants of the State Council;  however it is the right of society to know the true reasons behind this decision and the expected timeline for solving the issue of what is considered “suitable” for women.

ECWR Demands:

  • That social discourse continues concerning this issue.
  • That it is necessary to allow all male and female graduates of the School of Law to work in the prosecution of the judiciary based on the principle of equality and their qualifications.
  • That the infrastructure of courts be improved as well as the headquarters of judges as a human right for all male and female judges.

Nehad Abul Komsan
ECWR

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