Mervat El Tallawy (Photo:Internet)
Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW) criticised on Tuesday the low number of women in the country's newly-appointed cabinet, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.
Out of the 31 ministers who were sworn-in early Tuesday, only four were women – inconsistent with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's inaugural speech, in which he stressed the importance of women holding decision-making positions, the NCW pointed out.
The council said it had been expecting a higher representation of women than in recent years, adding that Egypt has plenty of capable and qualified women who can take on government posts and be on an equal footing with men.
The former cabinet also saw just four women holding portfolios.
The women in the new cabinet are Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly, Minister of Urban Development Laila Iskandar, Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa El-Ahwany and Minister of Manpower Nahed El-Ashri.
The new government – the third since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 – is led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and retains 21 ministers, one of whom will hold a new portfolio, and introduces 13 new ones.
The council was hopeful that women's roles in public life would increase after El-Sisi's electoral victory last month, especially after the ex-army chief paid a visit to the council in April as part of his presidential campaign.
The meeting dealt with the representation of women in upcoming parliamentary elections, the NCW's Deputy Head Nour Farahat told Al-Ahram. Also discussed were the issues of activating anti-sexism articles in the constitution and advancing women's rights with regards to females being given equal amounts of public posts, especially in the judiciary.