The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization. The Center is dedicated to supporting women in their struggle to research her full rights and establish gender equality. ECWR works on eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and urging legislative authorities to reconsider all legislations opposing women-related international agreements, at the top of which CEDAW.
In this framework, ECWR, via its programs, is concerned with raising women’s awareness, emphasizing the necessity of women’s participation in public life- as an elector and nominee – and improving women legal knowledge. Such knowledge could be achieved through simplifying legal concepts so as to be capable of handling daily life issues and problems or filing lawsuits defending women and demanding their rights.
- Making women capable of controlling and providing them with the opportunity to control their lives, taking decisions, enjoying equality, participating effectively in the political field and having access to justice.
- Achieving a powerful women’s movement capable of empowering women to raise their voices and demand their rights.
- Reaching a democratic society respecting women as a complete partner in life, rejecting all forms of discrimination against women and entrenching citizenship values.
To achieve all the aforementioned issues, we follow a comprehensive methodology using law as a foundation to achieve an actual progress in women rights field, work on changing trends and raise people’s awareness. Therefore, we aim at concerting efforts of governmental bodies, media means and civil society in order to ensure women access to justice and human rights, raise the awareness of people, enhance the capability of local community and civil society organizations, so as to support women legal rights, advocacy campaigns and attempts of calling for changing the laws and policies that provide women with no protection from and no defense against discrimination.
Law occupies a special status with reference to women; we live in a social, political and legal environment, in which law determines rights, their means of application and impacts on individual legal positions in addition to the coinciding rights that provide power to people on the expense of others. Law further specifies resources beneficiaries and controlling parties besides the limits of control over such benefits. Law or legislative system works on either encouraging equality or putting obstacles in front of it, hence, leading to depriving women of their rights and impeding their access to resources.
The problem lies in lack of monitoring and analysis of women’s real situation together with the absence of the impacts of law on women from a legal and human rights perspectives.
Moreover, laws tackling the establishment of justice and gender mainstreaming values are facing counter-attacks, public opinion direction and manipulation for political not legal reasons. For example, Personal Status Law amendments of 1979, cancelled in 1985 under the pretext of being “Gehan Al Sadat Laws”.
Despite of that only a very limited number of women organizations are working to achieve equality. Taking in consideration the increase in population rates, it becomes clear that such number of women organizations is insufficient.
Thus, improving the monitoring of human, legal and political rights of women and working on women access to comprehensive justice and political empowerment is of special importance to measure accurately Egypt progress toward fulfilling its commitment in the field of human rights and gender equality. Such is to be carried out with reference to legal texts, practices, application together with monitoring the impact of the said laws on the life of Egyptian women and family well-being. Furthermore, bearing in mind executive authorities’ awareness and understanding of women’s rights as an integral part of human rights.
Our Principles and References
- Working with and not against women.
- Respecting local culture and building upon its humanitarian principles.
- Coordinating efforts and building teamwork together with respecting priorities of each party.
- Building alliances gathered by common ideas.
- Encouraging volunteer work and participation.
- Abiding by legal and international references and emphasizing on women rights as an integral part of human rights.
External Strategic Goals
- Raising awareness of women’s rights as an integral part of human rights.
- Developing the right of women to participate in public life and increasing women representation in all elected councils.
- Empowering women to have access to justice.
- Reducing violations and assaults against women practiced either by individuals, governmental bodies or non-governmental groups.
- Monitoring and changing laws, legislations and policies curbing women’s rights and opposing constitutions and international conventions.
Internal Strategic Goals
- Achieving institutional, human and financial sustainability.
- Entrenching the vision and developing the institutional potentials of ECWR staff.
- Increasing volunteers and women rights advocates.
- Maximizing work with women’s rights concerned bodies in Egypt and abroad together with playing an effective role on the international level.
- Raising ECWR information capabilities and maintaining the fact of being a documented information source on women issues in Egypt and the Arab region.
- Increasing the self-reliance efforts in executing campaigns and programs.
- Egypt’s commitment to international conventions.
- Presence of important initiatives on the governmental, civil society and international levels to support women’s rights.
- Available broad freedom space and raising awareness with the human rights issues.
- Shortage in women rights human resources and lacking a clear and comprehensive strategy for women movement.
- Disintegrated exerted efforts and non-consideration of women issues as public ones.
- Powerful anti-women rights currents.
- Law organizing NGOs set obstacles before NGOs work.
- A network of Egyptian local organizations working with ECWR, comprising of about 800 organizations on the Republic level in addition to the regional and international networks.
- ECWR creditability before Egyptian, Arab and international public opinions besides the Center cooperative relationships with media means.
- Staff and volunteers belief in women issues as a struggle not as an occupational work in addition to achieving great victories in the field of women rights.
- Accumulation of experiences, firm establishment of insights and learning from mistakes.