Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Egypt's latest Constitutional Declaration leaves out rights of women.

Egyptian women demand their rights. At the height of the revolutions men welcomed women as partners in the struggle for democracy. But once the dictators were ousted, men pushed women out of the picture. It's happening all over again. Absence of women's rights and equal opportunities was one of the main reasons for refusing the 2012 constitution that has been temporarily suspended yet the constitutional declaration issued on July 8th 2013is just as bad. It steers clear of any articles concerning women's issues and their right to equality. I just received the following from an Egyptian women's NGO. 'In spite of the continuity of women's powerful participation in the protests of June 30 and their strong presence in different public spaces in governorates of Egypt, the majority of official discussions have witnessed a lack of women’s participation and have also failed to raise or address women's issues, despite the dense participation of women in protests that were called for by "Tamarud" or the "Rebel" movement as well as different political forces for example, since day one. This happened regardless of what women and girls paid as a price for their taking part in demonstrations and their gathering, particularly in Tahrir square, where they were exposed to the most violent sexual assaults, amid ferocious negligence from those responsible for calling for the demonstrations from parties and revolutionary groups. This is one of the main indicators in analyzing the vision of the authorities regarding the importance and the kind of participation of women in public life. We see that one of the most important forms of political equality that should be implemented immediately includes forming a gender-balanced government and to t embark on the next phase with expanded definitions and wider applications to the concept of women's participation in the political process, so that they become a part of the discussion and decision-making process, and to genuinely reflect the wide female participation on the popular level, on diverse political levels, instead of reducing women's participation in the political process to a symbolic gesture or some decorative criteria that needs to be met. Thus Nazra for Feminist Studies demands two things: First: Fair participation of women in decision-making positions throughout the next phase. As such, there is an urgent need in having various ministries headed by women professionals in different fields of the government, the formation of which is currently being discussed. In addition, women must participate in the committee for constitution amendments which would grant greater gender representation of women and their issues. Women must also take part in the efforts being made in restructuring the security apparatus and the judiciary; all of which are steps which should start as soon as possible. Second: Acknowledging and integrating women's political, social and economic issues in the transitional period in order to grant comprehensive understanding of women's reality in Egypt, as well as avoiding discussing women's issues individually, as if separated from wider societal interactions; listening to their demands as well as holding those who committed crimes against them accountable. -- Position Paper- 12 July 2013 Exclusion of Women in the Political Process and the Constitutional Declaration Should be Treated Immediately… Political Forces and those Leading the Transitional Period Need to Integrate Women in a Fair and Equitable Manner within the Roadmap of June 30 e. Nazra for Feminist Studies . نظرة للدراسات النسوية website . twitter . facebook -- To unsubscribe from Nazra Mailing List, please reply with “unsubscribe”.

No comments: