Egypt: Ensure Women’s Full Participation in the Constitutional Process & Promote their Rights

7 FEBRUARY 2014 UPDATE: On 14 and 15 January 2014, Egyptians approved a new Constitution which contains provisions guaranteeing equality between men and women. Our partners in Egypt welcome the new Constitution, but are working to ensure these provisions are strongly implemented, particularly in the current climate where the justice system faces considerable challenges.


         
Demonstrating for a democratic Egypt ©UN Women/Enas Abu ElKomsan   

The new interim Egyptian government has excluded and ignored women’s demands and full participation by announcing a 50-member constitutional review committee with only 10% of the places reserved for “women and youth.” The women selected have mostly been limited to representatives of government bodies, which does not reflect the full range of civil society interests, expertise, and demands.

Egyptian women are also disturbed that there were no women at all, let alone experts in women’s rights, on the 10-member so-called expert committee that worked in secret to prepare recommendations on constitutional amendments for the 50-member constitutional committee. Drafts of the proposals leaked to the media are causing alarm as they apparently roll back on achievements already made for women.

Equality Now supports our partners’ continuing efforts to hold the authorities accountable for the promotion and protection of their human rights. Please call on Egyptian authorities to heed the voices of Egyptian women, in line with Egypt’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to ensure full equality between men and women. Urge them to:  

  • Change the composition of the 50-member constitutional committee so that women are better represented, with a minimum level of 35%, and ask them to employ a selection process that is representative, transparent and fair and reflects the rights of all of Egypt’s citizens.
  • Form a women’s rights committee to assist the 50-member committee in incorporating women's rights in the Constitution. This committee should include the expertise of a wide-range of women, from feminist civil society and the women's movement, rather than just women representatives of political parties.

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To learn more about the campaign & for a list of full contact information for the government officials above, see:
http://www.equalitynow.org/take_action/discrimination_in_law_action384