Ensure women’s rights are integrated in post-revolutionary Egypt
Women of Egypt played a prominent role in the revolution of early 2011. They were essential organizers, leaders and spokespersons during all phases of the revolution and demonstrated in large numbers in the streets. They were also beaten and some even sacrificed their lives during the protests. However, post-revolution events, such as fundamentalists calling for sex segregation in public transportation and for women to be veiled, have made women’s rights activists anxious that women may be sidelined. “Women are now shocked and worried about what the post-revolution days have in store for us. It seems likely that we may even lose the rights we had before the revolution,” says Ms. Sulieman, a women’s rights activist. Fatema Khafagy of the Alliance for Arab Women says, “Moving forward, the government of Egypt at all levels must include women and uphold their rights in all aspects of their lives.”
The Egyptian Constitution states that, "All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex…." Egypt is also a party to a number of international human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) all of which call for equality between men and women.
Please write to the Egyptian authorities urging them to take steps to meet the demands laid out in the Women’s Charter. Call upon them to ensure that 30% of electoral lists are comprised of women so that women have the opportunity to participate in the political life of the country. The new government should, among other things, ensure that women are represented on the constitutional committee; that at least 40% of ministerial posts go to women; that discriminatory legislation is reviewed and revised; that women have equal access to the same employment and business opportunities as men; and that a strong women’s machinery is established. Remind the authorities that they should live up to Egypt’s obligations under CEDAW, the ICCPR and the ICESCR.
To learn more, visit: http://equalitynow.org/take_action/discrimination_in_law_action381