Protest for women's representation in Egypt constitution
Feminist groups to hold protest demanding parliamentary quota for women in amended constitution
MENA and Ahram Online, Monday 11 Nov 2013
The Appropriate Communication Technique for Development (ACT), an Egyptian NGO, is calling for a rally on Wednesday in front of the Shura Council building to protest the absence of a women parliamentary quota in the amended constitution.
The protest will demand that a parliamentary quota is added to the charter's article 11, which tackles the state's role in protecting women and children and ensures equality between men and women.
A suggested amendment to the article, which specified that "the State is obliged to take the necessary measures to ensure the appropriate and balanced representation of women in parliaments and local units," was rejected by the Salafist Nour Party in an earlier draft session. The Islamist party argued that the phrasing would open the door for a women's quota in parliament, which it is against.
According to ACT director Azza Kamel, several NGOs and feminist groups plan to participate in Wednesday's demonstration, including The Nadim Centre, The New Woman Institute, and the Arab Women Association.
Kamel added that the protest is a clear denunciation of article 11 and will demand that the new constitution promotes women rights and dictates a specific quota to represent women in parliament.
Following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, Egypt's interim authorities suspended the 2012 constitution, which was drafted under Morsi by an Islamist-dominated constituent assembly.
As part of Egypt's transitional roadmap to renewed presidential elections, the 2012 constitution is currently being amended by a broadly-representative constitutional committee.
The amendments are scheduled for approval by Interim President Adly Mansour by 3 December, after which they will be submitted to public vote via national referendum. If the charter passes, it will be followed by parliamentary and then presidential elections within the upcoming year.