Egypt: Ladies folk Oppose ‘Repressive’ Invoice to Strip Them of Rights and Freedoms

By Menna A. Farouk

Cairo — Below the new private blueprint law, a male guardian would signal the marriage certificate, quite than the bride

Ladies folk’s rights shall be rolled reduction 200 years in Egypt below a proposed law that would cease them signing their very private marriage certificates, registering their cramped one’s birth or travelling abroad with out a particular person’s consent, rights activists voice.

The private blueprint bill, which used to be licensed by the cupboard in January, would furthermore give fathers precedence in cramped one custody – reversing the present law which favours mothers – and enable fathers to forestall mothers travelling with their teens.

“We entirely reject this handsome draft law. It takes us reduction 200 years,” acknowledged Nehad Abu El Komsan, head of the Egyptian Center for Ladies folk’s Rights, in a Facebook video statement, describing the bill as “repressive” and “patriarchal”.

“In Egypt, ladies would possibly perhaps well perchance furthermore furthermore be ministers and signal agreements rate tens of millions of bucks for the authorities but below this law they’d now not be in an arena to signal their very private marriage contracts.”

Sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation and a surge in violence after the Arab Spring uprisings made Egypt the worst country in the Arab world to be a girl, per a 2013 Thomson Reuters Basis poll.

Extra recently, ladies in the socially conservative nation relish turn out to be bolder, with a entire bunch taking to social media to debate gender inequality. Ladies folk now elevate a document 27% of lawmakers, per the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

However ladies tranquil face discrimination in entry to divorce, cramped one custody, and inheritance in about half of a dozen private blueprint rules, derived from Islamic law, which date reduction to 1920.

The cabinet acknowledged in an announcement earlier this year that the new private blueprint bill used to be “per the expansive social pattern in Egyptian society and the have to assemble the dispersed rules into one.”

The cabinet spokesman used to be now not in an instant on hand to comment extra.


Dozens of girls’s rights groups and public figures signed an announcement last week condemning the bill and calling for “accurate reforms” that meet ladies’s demands, appreciate their constitutional rights and guarantee justice for all relatives.

Below the bill, a male guardian – similar to a father or brother – would signal the marriage certificate, quite than the bride. He would possibly perhaps well furthermore file a case to annul a wedding within a year if he sees the couple as sick-suited or the dowry too slight.

“The brand new draft law represents a setback to the pre-new narrate,” acknowledged Entessar El-Saeed, government director of the Cairo Basis for Pattern and Guidelines, an NGO.

“Its articles are incompatible with Egypt’s constitutional duties to guard citizenship rights, to boot to … international human rights law,” she acknowledged, adding that Egypt have to tranquil cease treating ladies like second-class residents.

One proposal in the bill has gained approval from some ladies – to punish a particular person if he marries a second companion with out notifying the first, with a sentence of up to a year in jail and a blinding of 20,000 to 50,000 Egyptian kilos ($1,276 to $3,189).

However el-Saeed acknowledged it’d be higher for the man and his other halves to resolve the matter in court docket.

“If the first companion has the same opinion, then the husband can marry a second companion. If now not, then she will be able to get a divorce and half of of the husband’s wealth,” she acknowledged.

The bill is being reviewed by a committee for constitutional and legislative affairs, earlier than it is taken to parliament.

($1 = 15.6800 Egyptian kilos)

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