Egypt Independent

Women’s rights group: Egyptian political system marginalizes women

Egyptian political parties marginalize the role of women within party structures and higher committees, according to a new report issued by the Cairo-based Egyptian Center for Women's Rights.

The report, devoted to the political status of women in Egypt, is entitled, "From the Shura Council to the People's Assembly…Egypt is for Men Only." The study analyzes the content of written news about women holding decision-making positions in 18 local daily and weekly newspapers and magazines.

The report states that the marginalization of women by Egyptian political parties was made clear by their nominees in recent Shura Council elections, which only included three women–one each from the Tagammu, Al-Ahrar and Al-Watani parties–representing a mere 12.5 percent of Egypt's 24 political parties.

The report sees this as evidence that party agendas are little more than "political cosmetics," asserting that the female presence in political parties was "only for show" rather than true participation.

The report describes recent Shura Council election results as "disappointing," since only one of 11 female candidates won, even though the government had earlier decreed that 11 women out of 44 appointed members–25 percent–would be appointed.

The report goes on to denounce the role of the media regarding female candidates, describing media coverage as "typical, routine and repetitive," emphasizing that the media's role did not aid in changing the public perception of female nominees.

The report also notes that, at a time when a number of Arab countries had already elected female judges, the Egyptian State Council had postponed the appointment of female judges due to a lack of "suitable boarding arrangements" for women.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.