Egyptian Women’s Status Report 2009

ECWR Report On Women’s Status in Egypt in 2009

Legislative Amendments
Conflicting Policies
Social Decline

Supervised and Edited By

Nehad Abul Komsan
Director of ECWR

Prepared By
ECWR Media and Research Unit

Nahed Shehata
Amal Sakr
Rasha Hassan

Between the battle over the veil and women-only taxis, a plan to segregate women began. As the year of 2009 brought about a number of positive changes on the level of legislation and public policy, there were also dangerous indications towards the social decline on the level of promoting women’s participation in public life, where women were the fuel behind several campaigns and battles with the media and on political levels. This includes the battle over money and power in the marriage and murder of an artist, to the battle between Salfism and the government’s weakness on the issue of veils, and also the extreme clashes over the participation of women at all levels.

In the same year, the Egyptian Parliament supported the participation of women in parliament by allocating 64 seats for women for the next 10 years. Also, a new ministry was established called the Ministry of Family and Population and the Minister is the ambassador Ms. Moshira Khattab.

And on the judicial level, a woman for the first time took the position of President of the Criminal Court meanwhile women’s participation in the administrative judiciary was greatly debated.

And on the level of supreme leaders, Dr. Hend el Hennawy became the president of a governmental university while women were not to be found in the director position of the 8 national newspapers.

Also, the parliamentary agenda was filled with laws projects related to the Egyptian family and its stability, beginning with the personal status law to structuring visitation rights and child custody, to issues like domestic violence, sexual harassment, abortion and others. However, social issues concerned with family stability were not the priority of parliament in 2009, for economic law concerning money extortion was the real focus, in spite of isolating and segregating Egyptian women.

However, women were at the forefront, leading the way, especially when it was related to family living condition. Women were involved in protests, sit-ins, and strikes in all sectors of health, education, agriculture, and the household.

Women abroad are still in need of improving economic conditions or obtaining job opportunities, for government’s protection is absent and many women are exposed to problems with their work abroad.

As well, the continuation of trafficking, which use different names such as the temporary legitimacy of early and customary marriages, which tend to be the most dangerous. Though there has been a noticeable increase of women and families confronting sexual violence crimes, from rape and sexual assaults to harassment, there has been good response from the ministry of interior to these notifications as well as strong campaigns to confront harassment in streets, we still need a strong, methodical and well enforced mechanism to stop these crimes.

This report discusses the status of Egyptian women through local and international reports, daily newspapers (Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar, Al-Gomhuria, Al-Dostoor, Al-Wafd, Nahdet Misr, AL-Haya) as well as weekly newspapers such as (Al-Osboo, Al-Youm AL-Sabe).

This report reflects the actual conditions of women in 2009 in the following fields:
Firstly: Women in Decision-Making Positions and in Appointed Leadership Positions:

  • • Dr. Hend Hanafy is recruited as director of Alexandria University and is the first woman to become president of a governmental university.
  • • Advisor Sally Al-Saedy was chosen as the first judge and the first woman in the history of Egypt to preside as judge in murder, theft, and drug dealing cases after she takes the seat on the right side of the judge’s bench presiding over felony and criminal cases.
  • • Becoming the president of the primary level of the fourth district court is Judge Shereen el Weshahy, who will be the first female judge in one of the district courts of Egypt.
  • • A limited ministerial amendment was done, including the employment of Dr. Mohammad Nasr El-Din, as minister of water resources and irrigation following Dr. Mahmud Abu Zeid. The decision restructured the Ministry of Health and Population and established the Ministry of Family and Population and employed the ambassador Mushira Khattab as its minister.
  • • A recruitment of Ms. Fahima Saleh to fill the position of District Secretary to become the first woman to fill the position of Secretary General of El Moosky district in Cairo.
  • • The use of two judges for the first time in the committee of athletics in Alexandria: Dr. Magda Nagy and Dr. Abeer Ramadan, who are members in the educational system, in the department of sport activities for girls.
  • • Dr. Eman Bebars, the director of Women’s Promotion Association directed by El-Masry Club, won the elections as she gained 850 votes against 64 votes for her rival Hanan El Seedy and became the director of El-Fostat El-Gedeeda association. It was difficult battle that lasted the whole month of Ramadan. Thus, Dr. Eman became the first director of a club in Egypt.

Secondly: Discrimination against Women in the Marketplace:

Men-only recruitment of local media leaders:

  • • Mr. Mohammad Abdel Salam Mahgoob, the Minister of Local Development, released a decision of local recruitment and delegations in governorates designated only for men.
  • • The Shoura Council approved big changes in 8 national newspapers. The council decided to employ 8 new directors, mostly members of the National Democratic Party, with the absence of women in all position changes.
  • • Female workers and employees witnessed discrimination in the Ministry of Tourism due to the ministry’s preventing women’s children and husbands to join in the medical treatment program, meanwhile not inhibiting men’s families. A woman said in her complaint that the ministry’s medical program affords 90% of the expenses of men and women workers’ treatment, and 75% of the employee’s family members. However, female employees are only permitted to list her family members if she is divorced or widowed, unless she is the sole provider or primary support of her family. They confirmed that some employees’ children suffer from chronic diseases that thousands of pounds are needed to treat them. It is worth mentioning that most professional syndicates apply the same method in Egypt.

Thirdly: Draft Laws:

  • • Dr. Fathy Soroor, the President of the Egyptian Parliament, supported the draft law, which Dr. Zainab Radwan originally proposed, concerning parental visitation rights to be subject to review according to the Islamic Research Center to offer a legitimate opinion and consensus in order to approve the necessity of a legal study in accordance with Sharia texts.
  • • Dr. Ahmad Fathy Soroor, the President of the Egyptian Parliament submitted the draft law proposals to the legislative committee to discuss in their next meetings. The proposed laws included: strengthening punishment for those who commit acts of rape that they must be punished by prison sentence with hard labor or execution if he is related to the victim or is her legal guardian. Anyone who attempts to sexually assault another person will be imprisoned for 5 to 7 years, in addition to a new article for developing the punishment for sexual harassment that the perpetrator is imprisoned for a period that does not exceed a year and a fine that does not exceed one thousand pounds. Also, the proposed draft law included that female victims of rape could receive permission for an abortion if pregnancy results from the crime. The prosecution has the potential to receive permission for an abortion according to the forensics report. The proposed draft law indicated that society should try to repair the damage and support women after they have experienced rape and she has pregnant.
  • • The National Council for Women submitted a legislative amendment that aims to punish men and women who sexually harass others, which is very common throughout several Arab and foreign countries.
  • • The consultant Abdullah El-Baga, the Vice-President of the Family Appeals Court in Cairo, submitted a draft law under the title “every parent and grandparent has the right to care for children and obtain custody.”
  • • The Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) prepared a consolidated draft law of personal status as a preface for its approval in the Egyptian Parliament.
  • • Under the increasing rates of customary and undocumented marriages, the MP Ibtesam Habeeb presented a draft law that includes the modification of documentation laws to prevent undocumented marriages and includes proposed punishment of both parties in customary marriages, including imprisonment for a period not less than one year and a fine that is not less than one thousand pounds and does not exceed 10 thousand pounds. Under the draft law, both the writer and the witness of any contract which is not documented according to the provisions of the law or the authorized list of the Ministry of Justice are to be punished. The proposed law obligates the couple to present a medical certificate released from an independent governmental body determined by the Ministries of Justice and Health that confirm the couple does not suffer from genetic diseases.
  • • The National Council for Women (NCW) presented to the Egyptian Parliament a draft law proposal to modify the provisions of law 77/1946, the inheritance law. The NCW added a new article that punishes those who prevent heirs from receiving his or her legitimate share of the inheritance.
  • • MP Mohammad Khaleel Kowaita presented to the Egyptian Parliament a draft law to legalize abortion for raped women and said that the aim is to protect women from these crimes. Al-Azhar accepted this law in condition that the fetus has not exceeded 120 days.
  • • ECWR presented a draft law that outlines the punishment and includes a definition of sexual harassment.
  • • The National Council for Women submitted a draft law to criminalize sexual harassment in the workplace and restrict the subjective authority of judges in rape cases.
  • • The National Security and Defense Committees in the Egyptian Parliament agreed to modify the law of prisons. The amendment would organize and compel prison administration to provide good treatment to those who are pregnant upon receiving confirmation of a medical report. and the pregnant should be provided with food, functionality, and sleep even after 40 days she gives birth.

Fourthly: Laws:

The Egyptian Parliament and Shoura Council approved a law project to allocate seats for women in parliament, providing an additional 64 seats for women. The quota system will create 2 seats per governorate (1 for professionals and 1 for laborers) except the most densely populated governorates: Cairo, Dakahlia, Sharkia, and Behaira, which will create 4 seats only for women candidates. The quota system has been approved for two legislative periods or for the next 10 years.

Fifthly: Fatwas:

  • • A fatwa was approved that a father may host his son for one day per week, and more than during vacations and holidays. Additionally, fatwa number 16/2009 establishes that child custody and its arrangements are is a method to protect and care for the children. If the mother wants to forfeit her custody rights, the court will refuse this for the child’s sake, as child custody is not an arena for fighting between divorced couple and not to instigate problems with their spouse at the expense of children. Child custody provides care for children and guarantees their interests. Fathers filed reports to ECWR about the abuse of custody arrangements in achieving communication with their children and the refusal of mothers to allow father to take their children. Fathers demand that everyone reject the law draft of Dr. Zainab Radwan that believes fathers must get approval from the mother in order to have visitation rights, and they consider this draft law will cause them to lose their rights to their children and weaken their relationship with their children.
  • • The scientists of Al-Azhar agreed to impose a law of recourse to the analysis of DNA in issues of paternity, as Efta House reported that Dr. Aly Gomaa stated that it is not prohibited to force a man or woman who does not take responsibility for a child (whoever is the breadwinner) by making a DNA analysis of the children. This is to be used in the case where relationships are not documented or there are no witnesses or if the contract is invalid or suspected of being broken. Therefore, the DNA test can be used to prove the paternity of child to one of the parents or to both. In the case that they refuse to comply with a DNA test, then by default the child is proved to be related, and the marriage status is of no issue.
  • • A fatwa, number 6922/2009, was issued that approves the kinship of children born to Orfi or customary marriages when one-witness is present. This was in response to a question that a woman had about a customary marriage that included one witness without informing her guardian, “the elements of the contract provide listening to a witness of acceptance and positivity and has to answer the question and if he didn’t then it will be an invalid contract and the defendant should pay the dowry to the prosecutor, and if they had a sexual intercourse that resulted a pregnancy he will be separated as he proves his kinship to the attorney because it’s a suspicion and they both should participate immediately”.
  • • A fatwa declared El Misyar marriage is permissibly on the condition that the approval of the “guardian” is obtained. The Legal Research Center of Al Efta House released a fatwa that allows this type of marriage and confirmed that it is true and legal as long as it satisfies the conditions established in legal provisions. Al Efta House confirmed that this marriage which satisfies the conditions and is officially documented by a competent person is a legal marriage in addition that the couple agrees to the contract. Furthermore, it is agreed that the husband does not stay with the wife but visits her when he is available, and “it is a true marriage based on the law except what the wife relinquishes”.
  • • Dr. Mohammad Sayed Tantawy declared a new fatwa that permits “abortion in the case of rape”, on the condition that the girl must have a good reputation, be pure, and is angered by what has happened.

Sixthly: Protests and Strikes:

Health Sector:

  • • About 20 female employees in Kafr El Sheikh Public Hospital protest the decision of the hospital manager to assign them work as “cleaners” to fill the deficit in the hospital. The protestors asked the governor to intervene and restore them back to their positions, especially that they are highly educated.
  • • 400 nurses of Kafr El Sheikh Public Hospital, who represent the all nurses, staged a hospital strike, as they demand the implementation of a ministerial decision to raise their bonuses. And also more than 2 thousand nurses of Alexandria University Public Hospital arranged a protest march and toured the hospital’s departments and the University because of the decision by the university to extend night shifts for 10 years.
  • • 107 nurses of El Mansoura University held a strike about food and protested in the university because of the decision of Dr. Ahmad El Bayoumy, the director of the University, to transfer them to work in different places. 80 nurses of the University presented a notification to the attorney general against the University director who decided to move them from the University hospitals to governmental ones.

Education Sector:

  • • More than 200 Arabic Handwriting teachers from all educational administrations in Asyut governorate protested the decision of the undersecretary to exclude them from teaching. The argument of the undersecretary is that it is not a real subject despite the fact that they have taught the subject for 10 years.
  • • Some female students in Ain-Shams University organized a feminist demonstration in front of administration offices located in Kasr El Zaafrana, demanding that the The National Council for Women intervene to protect hundreds of students from banishment to the streets or being denied accommodation in furnished apartments. It is noteworthy to mention that the University prevented 90 veiled girls from entry.
  • • More than 100 veiled students in Cairo University gathered in a demonstration against the decision of the Supreme Council of Universities that prevents students from entering examinations while wearing veils that cover their faces. Also 500 veiled students in Suhag University demonstrated against the decision of the director that prevents them to enter their mid-term examinations.

Agriculture Sector:

  • • More than 50 female laborers in the forestation associations of the Ministry of Agriculture in Monofeya and Gharbeya governorates demonstrated in front of the Ministry because they did not receive their salaries for 24 months and have worked on temporary contracts for 15 years.

Factory Laborers Strike:

  • • The laborers of “Mansoura Aspania” factory of textiles entered an open strike as the administration escalated the situation and decided to fire 5 laborers arguing that they incite the laborers to stop working and the 5 laborers decided to complain to the police laborers manpower against the administration.

Seventhly: The Status of Egyptian Women Abroad:

  • • The State of Bahrain officially declared the abolishment of its sponsorship system for foreign laborers to the country because the number of laborers was officially estimated to half a million, which is half the population of Bahrain.
  • • In addition, a sponsor arrested an Egyptian doctor in Saudi Arabia for 3 years because they were in conflicts, and the doctor wanted to end the contract but the sponsor refused and used all methods to put pressure on the doctor.
  • • Al-Wafd newspaper published the crisis of Abeer Awad and her Saudi husband who obtained a death certificate for her daughter Farah (2 years old) before he was imprisoned because forged checks. As Abeer was kicked out from her apartment because she could not afford the rent after her husband entered prison, so she attempted to extract a birth certificate to prove that her daughter is alive and the Egyptian ambassador Fawzy El Ashmawy exerted efforts with the Saudi authorities to release a decision from the prince of Riyadh to return Abeer and her daughter to Egypt.

Eighthly: The Phenomenon of Trafficking:

  • • The recent reports of 2009 includes the UN warning that sexual exploitation and forced labor are now the most common forms of trafficking in the world. The report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime was based on derived data from 155 countries that estimated the magnitude of the phenomenon and includes the efforts to control the phenomenon. The report indicates that sexual exploitation accounts for 75% of all violence incurred on women and is considered the most common violation. Women and girls are the victims, but they are also considered the greatest supporters of trafficking, leading and organizing human trafficking. The rate of convicted women responsible for and leading human trafficking in Central Asia and Eastern Europe reached more than 60 %.
  • • A study by the National Center for Social and Criminology Research indicated that the rate of child trafficking rate has risen and has reached 13.3% of total crimes.
  • • The Land Center for Human Rights released a report that indicates 40% of under age girls in Egypt marry wealthy men from Gulf, due to the bad economic situation. These girls are considered a new form of widespread trafficking in Egypt and throughout the world. The report did not indicate any statistics or accurate official reports on the number of victims of trafficking in Egypt. In addition there are a lack of articles in the Egyptian law that address these crimes and provide punishment for perpetrators. The International Labor Organization estimates at the same time that the number of trafficking victims in the world is 12,300,000 persons, making the situation in Egypt much more complex.
  • • The Ministry of Family and Population prepared a study on underage marriage and was conducted in three centers in 6th of October governorate: Abul Nomros, Al hawamdeya, and Elbadrasheen and included a sample of 2000 girls. The study concluded that 74% married foreigners, and the rate of spread of this phenomenon in these three centers is 66.6%.

Ninthly: Violence Against Women:

Honor Crimes:

  • • Hewar Center for Development and Human Rights released a study that confirmed the rise of crime between the last year 2008 and early 2009, especially the crimes committed as a result of poverty. The conclusion of the study analyzed incidents in the news (national, party, and independent newspapers) and the number of crimes committed during this time period raised from 254 crimes to 402.
  • • The National Association for Rights and Liberties Defense released a report that confirmed the unanticipated increase in the rate of familial violence in Egypt (within the most recent 3 months, they monitored 82 murders within families).
  • • A recent study by the National Center for Social and Criminal Research revealed that 92% of recent murders fall under the category of Honor Crimes, which are generally committed by husbands, fathers, or brothers because they perceive their family honor to be tainted by a female family member. The study confirmed that 70% of these crimes are committed by husbands against their wives and 20% are committed by brothers against their sisters while only 7% are committed by parents against their daughters and the 3% remaining are committed by sons against their mothers. The most dangerous matter in the report is the confirmation that 70% of these honor crimes are not committed flagrantly.

Sexual Harassment:

  • • A study of sexual harassment of women working in governmental bodies in Egypt proved that 68% of a female sample (100 women workers in government and public sector) were harassed verbally or physically from their colleagues or directors. The report prepared by two researchers in Monofeya and Cairo Universities indicates that constant introductions of harassment usually begin with first introductions and the discussion of personal affairs.

At The Governmental Level:

  1. A. The Minster of Tourism, Zaheer Garana, decided to organize inspection campaigns on bazaars, as tourists often complain of sexual harassment and looting. Garana warned the owners of bazaars, especially those located on the sea, from the dangerous consequences of this behavior on the reputation of the Egyptian tourism industry.
  2. B. Alexandria governorate began the application of a new plan to confront sexual harassment, where the governor agreed to allocate women-only taxis similar to women-only cars in the metro in order to protect women from harassment and prevent harassment within the public space of transportation.

Harassment Notifications:

  • • A young man was imprisoned for 3 years because of defaming and threatening a student while climbing the stairs of a building in Hadaek El Kobba where he was going to teach her a private lesson. He then threatened her to remain silent and attempted to harass her, she then asked for help and the guard of the building rescued her and caught the suspect before he escaped.
  • • A doctor in El Minya was requested for an urgent trial after a girl accused him of harassing her during an examination.
  • • Alexandria Criminal Court sentenced a driver to 3 years in prison because he harassed a female lawyer in the public transportation system.
  • • A pharmacy worker was arrested because he harassed a student and is to be imprisoned for 6 years.
  • • A woman employee accused an office boy with harassment and she informed the prosecution.
  • • Policemen of Nasr City police station in Sherooq el Qahira sector received a notification from Nicole, 25 years old, an employee in a bookstore, that Karim, a worker, 19 years old, harassed her inside the store and a record of the incident was released.
  • • A nurse in Ismailia accused a policeman with harassment and assault, while pretending that he is a colonel.
  • • In the frame of two movements “the 6th April” and “Kefaya” movements, a protest was organized, where some policemen harassed the girls of the movement.
  • • The prosecution proxy of El Dekhaila gave an order to imprison a worker in a shoe store in the 6th October village in north coast because he harassed an American child while she was purchasing shoes.

Crimes Committed Because of Harassment:

  • • An unemployed attempted to kill two workers by ripping their bodies with a pocketknife among the amazement of people and left them in a pool of blood because they flirted with his girlfriend in Omrania and then he escaped.
  • • A baker in the village of Meet El Attar stabbed a painter with a pocketknife because he flirted with his fiancée several times.
  • • A student in the Science House Faculty in Cairo University killed his classmate, who he admonished because he constantly flirts with women.
  • • 5 university students were injured in a fight in front of the entrance of Ganoub El Wady University, where a student flirted with a girl that was accompanied by her classmate. Then, a brawl erupted and the two students’ friends intruded and everyone was injured.
  • • A woman was killed because she refused to flirt with two workers while she was crossing the street, as she rebuked them the situation developed into an altercation and they stabbed her several times till she passed away.
  • • A dangerous criminal in the Giza area of Awseem stabbed and ripped the body of a vegetables vendor after a brawl erupted because the criminal flirted with the vendor’s sister on her way back to home.

Security Campaigns against Sexual Harassment:

  • • Within the frame of security campaigns throughout Cairo, a security campaign supervised by General Farook Lasheen, the director of The General Administration of Cairo Investigations, resulted in 75 cases of harassment and indecent assaults in public.
  • • Mobile Security in Giza and Cairo confronted the over crowdedness and harassment in the 2nd day of the Fitr Eid with two security campaigns, 630 recruits and 220 officers participated. The first campaign was prepared by Cairo Police in downtown and the Nile Corniche, with the participation of secret police wearing casual clothes, 237 instances of harassments were detected. The second campaign was organized by Giza Traffic in cooperation with Cairo Traffic to better facilitate traffic in crowded areas.
  • • Cairo Police registered 317 harassment cases within the 2nd day of the Fitr Eid, Helwan Police registered 115 harassment cases during the 2nd day of the Fitr. Most of them occurred on the Courniche and Gamet El Dowal El Arabia Street, only 7 cases were reported in October, while the total harassment cases that occurred on the 2nd day of Fitr Eid throughout greater Cairo was 462, and hundreds on Courniche.
  • • Helwan Security Director initiated and developed a campaign under the supervision of General Hamed Abdullah in Basateen, Maadi and El Saff and resulted in the detention of 112 harassers in front of schools and stations.
  • • Alexandria Security detected 13,533 indecency cases and 12,738 cases of verbal and physical sexual harassment in public spaces.

Sexual Harassment … Juridical Projects:

Official statistics and studies confirmed that the year of 2009 witnessed similar rates of sexual crimes to 2008 that reached to 120,000 annual cases, which exceeded the number between the years of 2006 and 2007, which witnessed 62,000 cases of sexual harassment and rape crimes.

The latest study of the National Center for Social Records in Egypt estimated the kidnapping and rape incidents that 15% consisted of underage children and on average 2 daily cases.

It also monitored in the National Association for Rights and Liberties Defense within the last year 2008, 151 cases of rape varied between mass and single rapes, children rape, and incest rape. These cases were filed with police stations, and the criminals were arrested. However there are many cases that were not reported because of fear from shame and scandal.

A final report released about the National Center for Social and Criminal Research in the National Center for Criminal Researches 2006 revealed that Egypt witnesses 20,000 rape cases annually, the crimes and accidents occur at the rate of two accidents every hour.

Domestic Violence:
The study “Domestic Violence” conducted in 6 villages in Asyut: “Beny Shekeer, El Atamna, El Gawy, El Mandara, Nazlet Bakoor, and El Nekhaila” by International Care Organization revealed that the divorce rate is rising over 80% and that 6 cases occur daily in villages. Also, in these villages it is confirmed that there is an increase of domestic violence in Upper Egypt, though the elimination attempts on social institutions. The study explains a variety of forms of domestic violence, and also a study by the Social Studies Researches Center in Ganoub El Wady in Kena confirmed that domestic violence between couples. An analytical study comparing between The Family Court of Luxor and The Family Court of Kena supervised by Dr. Sayed Awad, the director of the sociology department of the Faculty of Arts, concluded that more than 20% of wives suffer violence in Luxor while the percentage in Kena reached to 28%. The study also monitored that the result of the use of violence by husbands against wives in Kena and Luxor has resulted in the increase of litigations, reaching 60 cases in The Family Court of Luxor and 57 cases in The Family Court of Kena and 9 khula divorce cases in Kena and 5 in Luxor in addition to the increase of divorce.

A study released by El Nadeem Center for Violence Victims Treatment and Qualification indicated that 79% of Egyptian women are violated within families. The answer of the sample confirms that 55% are abused by husbands, 20% by parents, and 12% by brothers. The study also revealed that 6% are exposed to incest whose age ranged between 16 to 40 years old. The researchers asked for legislation to criminalize domestic violence against women though preparing them to refer to law.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
Musheera Khattab, the minister of Population and Family confirmed that FGM operations processed by doctors rose to 75% according to demographic survey performed by the Ministry of Health, they rose to 17 % in 1995 to 75% in 2005, Khattab also mentioned through the first seminar for activation of female criminalization law that the plan of the ministry succeeded according to the recent poll, 55 % of youth refuses FGM and the rate of spread of this crime in fine areas doesn’t exceed 0.9% and hints that the spread of this crime is developed.

Several villages in governorates like Aswan, El Minya, Dakahleya, El Fayoum, Port Said, and Suhag signed contracts to confront FGM that the number of these villages reached to 28.

Studies and Researches on Women’s Status in Egypt:
• A report released by Information and Decision-Making Support in Gharbeya revealed that the rate of women’s participation in Local Councils is very low, and the report confirmed that the total number of seats in the Local Council in the governorate reached to 2294 while women only obtained 4% (88 seats) meanwhile there are no seats occupied by women in Parliament or Shoura Council from Gharbeya.
• A report released by Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory about the low status of women and the decline of their economic and social rights in the economic development plan between 2002 to 2007 revealed that the rate of women’s unemployment reached 50% of the total workforce in Egypt, and the highest percentage of unemployment among women is concentrated in El Wady El Gedeed, Suez, Giza and Aswan. The report added that the number of women in Egypt is 48.87% from the whole population although they only received 3.13% of the total investments of the country’s development plan, the report indicates the decline of the level of the governmental services presented through programs of maternal and child care in different governorates.
• A field research released by El Nadeem Center for Psychological Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture identified the opinions of women concerning the criminalization of domestic violence, which is considered the focus of the campaign conducted by El Nadeem Center with the participation of 90 organizations. The study was conducted with 1261 ladies, and the conclusion is that 98% confessed that domestic violence occurs and that wives are the most violated individual in family (61%), the daughter (25%), and fathers and husbands are the primary perpetrators of violence (33.40%). Meanwhile 94% of women in streets said that they heard about harassment and 5% did not.
• The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics revealed that more than 2.9 million men and women are widows and widowers in Egypt, which includes 404,000 men (1.8%) and about 2,000,525 widowed women (10.7%) from the total of population.
• A recent study prepared by Dr. Salwa El Mahdy, the Professor of Sociology in Kena University, entitled “Women Inheritance in Upper Egypt: Between Reality and Hopes in Suhag and Kena” revealed women are deprived of their inheritance and this is because people in Upper Egypt tend to follow tradition and custom that does not non divide agriculture property or land to non-related women.
• A recent study by the Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory entitled “The Budget of Gender in Egypt,” criticized the structure of the Egyptian state budget and said that the Ministry of Finance, although it sees that it is necessary to divide the public budget appropriations of the country according to population, that the portion allocated for women in the budget accounts for only 40%, despite making up half of the population.
• The study of Women in the Labor Market released by New Women Association revealed a rise in the percentage of women laborers with no contracts in both private and public sectors. Also, the percentage of women in the investment sector reached 53% versus 21% in the business sector. The study further clarified that workers in most investment factories sign a form number (6) while signing the contracts. This form should be signed in the case of resignation, as the insurance of workers is stopped by this form, as well as many women work casually (rotating shifts).
• A study released by The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics revealed that government has failed to eradicate FGM completely. The study states that the percentage of circumcised women who are married reached to 91.1% in 2008 compared to 95.8% in 2005, clarifying that this percentage is considered still too high despite exerted efforts confront FGM.
• A report released by The Information and Decision-Making Center of Ministers Council under the title “Do Egyptian women have an active role in political life?” confirmed that 64% agree Egyptian laws have achieved equality between men and women and 75% of uneducated men see that equality between men and women is one of the democratic properties versus 80% of females in the same educational level. While 71% from the total of highly educated males see that equality between the two genders is one of the essential democratic properties, versus 86% of females in the same educational level. The report revealed that the percentage of individuals who accept women to be deputies in the Egyptian Parliament or Shoura Council is 50%.
• A study prepared by Dr. Dina Mandour economics teacher in Cairo University about the status of women in communications and information technology sector revealed that the main problem is the weakness of women’s participation in this sector and that the percentage of participation reached 10% in 2006. Also this percentage witnessed a decline compared to the percentage of the previous years, which was 17% in 2000 and 14% in 2003. The study proved that 7% of women’s involvement in the computer sector and related fields are concentrated in jobs that require low skills like data entry and database creation versus 4% of men from 2000 to 2006.

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