Recommendations of the Egyptian woman in Parliament 2015 Conference

The Arab Consultancy Office (ACO) in cooperation with The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR) has concluded a conference “Egyptian Woman in Parliament 2015” that was held in partnership with The European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
The conference discussed the report on 2015 elections from the perspective of women’s participation in addition to several research papers among which are the legislative agenda for women in parliament, limitations facing women informing pressure groups and affecting the decisions of the parliament, the awaited role of the civil society and other parties in supporting the female MPs members, and the legislative mechanisms proposed to ensure an increase in women’s representation in the future parliaments. The conference concluded with several recommendations, including: Legislation- related Recommendations, recommendations on the role of civil society in supporting female MPs, and recommendations on women-related legislations demanded from the current parliament.
The conference was attended by representatives from the eight diplomatic missions interested in following-up with the elections in Egypt which are; the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt, the Office of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Embassy of the French Republic, Embassy of the Republic of Finland, Embassy of The Netherlands, Austria Embassy, Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain, and Embassy of Czech Republic. The conference was also attended by 256 public figures representing different political forces, various youth initiatives from different governorates, in addition to civil society representatives.
This comes in addition to 10 female parliament members and 52 media personnel representing newspapers and TV channels.
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The conference concluded with several recommendations, including;
Legislation- related Recommendations:
• The important role that the state should play in supporting and empowering women through the enactment of legislations improving women’s participation in the political sphere and the electoral process in particular.
• The importance of the fast drafting of the Local Councils’ law and Local Councils elections as soon as possible for their important role in; eliminating corruption and providing the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process more broadly.
• Amendment of the Parliament Law in accordance to the semi-presidential system with an increase in the percentage of women in the electoral lists and maintain the 50% women quota.
• Amendment of the Local Administration Law with regards to its electoral system to include both the electoral lists and individual seats to insure higher representation of women. This comes in accordance to Article 180 of the Constitution, which allocates 25% of the seats for women and 25% of the seats for young male and female youth.
• Amendment of Law No. 70/1977its subsequent amendments governing the political parties and adding a condition thatparties’ lists should include at least 30% of women in all their structures.
• Amendment of the Trade Unions Law through allocating at least 30% for women in all their elected committees.
• The importance of the fast establishment of the Commission for Combating Discrimination stipulated by Article 53 of the constitution to reduce discrimination against women and marginalized groups in the society.
Recommendations on the role of civil society in supporting female MPs:
• Support for a just law that would free the civil society and provide space for better participation and operation for the civil society organizations.
• Creation of a mechanism for cooperation, communication, continuous coordination, and exchange of views and experiences between civil society organizations and female MPs as well as the Legislative Committee in the parliament in order to insure the implementation of the Constitution articles
• Support for women’s civil society organizations to defend and promote the interests, needs and rights of women
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Recommendations on women-related legislations demanded from the current parliament:
• Speedup the enactment of the laws related to education, health and scientific research: as the constitution articles stipulated that the State shall ensure the implementation of its commitment to allocate the minimum rate of government spending on education (4%), higher education (2%), health (3%), scientific research (1%) prescribed in this constitution gradually as of the date of its enforcement, this to achieve these rates fully in the state budget for the fiscal year 2016/2017. The state is committed to extending compulsory education up to the secondary level gradually to be fully achieved in the academic year 2016/2017.
• Speedup the enactment of Social and Health Insurance Law: where Article 17 stipulates that the State shall ensure the provision of social insurance services and insurance and pension funds are private funds that enjoy all the prescribed protection forms of the public funds. These funds and their revenues are the right of their beneficiaries and should be invested safely and be managed by an independent body in accordance to the law. The State guarantees insurance and pension funds.
• Speed up the enactment of the Population Law: as Article 41 stipulates that the state is committed to the implementation of Population Program that aims to achieve a balance between population growth rates and resources available, maximize investment in human resources and improve their characteristics, in the context of sustainable development.
• Speed up the enactment of special judicial act for Children: as Article 80 stipulates the State shall guarantee the rights of children with disabilities and their rehabilitation and reintegration in society. The state is committed to child care and protection from all forms of violence, abuse, ill-treatment and sexual and commercial exploitation.
• The need for reviewing the criminal legislations introducing laws and mechanisms to address violence against women, especially domestic violence that reached surprising rates. According to the Demographic Health Survey 2014 25% of the surveyed sample experienced physical violence, 19% psychological violence and 4% sexual violence.

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