Officials at the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) rejected a new study proposing a project providing taxis for only female passengers, similar to the cars allocated to women on the metro.
In a statement, ECWR said it considers the project a setback at legal, religious and social levels. Furthermore, the organization said it considers the project unconstitutional and sees it as a violation of international agreements, particularly Article Three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." The statement also added that Islam doesn’t call for isolating women from the rest of the society.
The statement warned that the new female-only taxis might entrench the idea that isolation is the solution to problems, and similar attempts could be made at universities, workplaces and public places. The governor of Alexandria is examining the idea as a solution to crowding and harassment, the statement warned.
The statement further called for canceling female-only vehicles on subways, and recommended working instead on improving the service and making subways run more frequently.
Amna Nousseir, professor of philosophy and Islamic doctrine at Al-Azhar University, dismissed the idea as unreasonable. "It contradicts the nature of our Egyptian society where the woman is used to walking alongside the man without trouble," Nousseir said.
Nousseir went to so say that these are imported ideas that snuck into Egypt from neighboring countries, pointing out that trouble arises from corrupt morals not from mixing of genders.
Nousseir emphasized that protecting women cannot be achieved through isolation, but rather through raising girls and boys well.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.