Egypt's State Council (File photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s State Council said on Sunday it has approved the appointment of several female members to the council per presidential directives to allow female appointments in the judicial body for the first time ever.
In an official statement, Mohamed Mahmoud Hossam El-Din, the head of the State Council, said the council has set several requirements to transfer female members appointed originally in the Administrative Prosecution or the State Lawsuits Authority to the State Council.
The requirements stipulate that for any applicant to be considered, she must have an excellent or very good grade in their bachelor’s degree, a clear service record, and two diplomas for postgraduate studies, one of which must be in public law or administrative law.
Applicants should pass an interview held before a relevant committee formed by the State Council and meet all the conditions stipulated in the judicial body’s internal laws.
Sunday’s announcement comes days after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi asked Minister of Justice Omar Marwan to coordinate with the relevant bodies to allow women to become members of the State Council and the public prosecution.
The State Council is a judicial body that looks at administrative disputes, disciplinary cases and appeals, and disputes pertaining to its decisions. It also reviews draft laws and decisions, and contracts to which the state or one of the public bodies is a party.
The unprecedented decision, which was announced during International Women’s Day, aims to “fully enforce the constitutional entitlement of [ensuring] equality and non-discrimination”, according to an earlier statement by the justice ministry.
The decision received wide praise by the country’s National Council for Women, which described the decision by El-Sisi as one that represents “a political will that has always been fair to the Egyptian woman.”
Although there are a number of women occupying judicial posts, no women have ever been appointed as judges on the State Council, which refuses all applications filed by women.
A number of appeals have been filed by women over the past several years over the matter.