Out of the Powder Keg (full report)

  • Women and Judiciary

Women in Egypt still face a lot of obstacles regarding being a judge, where female judges in Egypt are only 42 judges after the last appointment back in 2007, also state council refused to appoint female judges in March, 2010 based on many allegations including the 11th article in the 1971 constitution that stated that women are given their rights according to Islamic Sharia, this contributed in the misuse of such article in preventing women from being judges in State Council, this leads to wasting many capabilities of competent female graduates of the Faculty of Law, because of inaccurate religious exegetics and unacceptable considerations as the conservative current increases within Egyptian judges.
This lead to the issue of a fatwaby the Mufti of the Republic, Dr. ShawqiAllam regarding women being judges and that religion allows them to be judges, governors and to have senior positions at the state;this fatwa was a result of huge efforts for Civil Organizations concerned with women’s rights demanding that women become judges, as women have the same requirements and will be punished the same as men in religion, this was approved by the Mufti when he said:
“Women are the same as men regarding duties in Sharia, and every demand in Sharia whether it came through Quran or Sunna includes men and women…”

Therefore, women can be judges without contradicting with Islamic Sharia, as some allegedly said before, and this fatwa came as a culmination of the efforts of women in all fields,and because of women’s role in building a new democratic country, because democracy cannot be obtained unless there was no elimination for any factions.
The importance of this fatwa is about preventing those who use religion to take away rights from women and eliminate her.
This fatwa is considered to support Sharia as much as it supports women’s rights, because it retrieved the true concept of Sharia that was destroyed by radical religious currents.

3- Women and the 50-member committee for amending the constitution after the 30th of June revolution
After the strong, brave participation of women in the 30th of June revolution, the 8th of June Constitutional Declaration after ousting Morsi, and the 10-member committee was formed to amend articles of the inactivated constitution.

  • The committee of experts (the 10-member committee)

Based on the Constitutional Declaration, the 10-member committee was formed without having one single female judge or expert, although there are female judges in the highest Egyptian Courts, which is the Supreme Constitutional Courts and the Technical Bureau of the court of Cassation, in addition to many Constitutional lawand General Law professors at all Egyptian Faculties of Law.

  • The Committee for amending the inactivated constitution.

After the 50-member committee finished its work, the Interim President, Judge Adly Mansour announced the formation of the 50-member committee for amending the constitutionwhich was a disappointment regarding women’s representation, where it had only 10 % only, which is astonishing especially after the 30th of June revolution in which women participated to object MB’s elimination for women, this committee was different from the MB’s committee for the constitution, it exceeded the former committee with only 3 %.

Names of Women who participated in the 50-member committee as main members:

  1. AblaMohieldin adviser at the Ministry of Industry.
  2. Mervat Tallawyas representative of the National Council for Women.
  3. Dr. Azza Ashmawias representative of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.
  4. Mona Zol-Faqar as representative for the National Council for Human Rights.
  5. Dr. Hoda el-Sadda, a public figure.

Names of Women who participated in the 50-member committee as auxiliary members:

  1. Nehad Abol-Qomsan.
  2. Dr. Mohga Ghalib Abdul Rahman.
  3. Maha Abu Bakr.
  4. Amena Nosseir.
  5. Dr. Leila Takla.
  6.  Safaa Zaki Murad.
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