Egypt to introduce court circuits for 'women’s abuse' cases

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Nov 2015

Egypt’s Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend announced the decision during his speech at the Arab Women in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2015-2013 conference being held in Cairo

Egypt's Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend announced on Monday that court circuits for cases related to abuse against women would be introduced.

El-Zend made the announcement during his speech at the Arab Women in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2015-2030 conference in Cairo.

The decision was based on the necessity of women being able to “obtain their full rights” through specialised court circuits.

The conference, hosted by the Arab Women’s Organization, in partnership with UNDP Regional Bureau of Arab States, UN women, and Arab League, is concerned with the implementation of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and important issues concerned with gender equality and women's empowerment.

El-Zend pointed out that the legal framework is what commands society, as well as saying that speaking about and demanding rights for women is the “soul of the law and its aim.”

Women’s related cases are the responsibility of legislators in Arab states, El-Zend added.

In September, Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council agreed to assign a female judge as an aide to El-Zend following a request from the minster himself.

The step was the latest effort towards appointing female judges in a field that has long been dominated by men.

To date, no women have been appointed as judges in Egypt's criminal courts, El-Zend said. However, there are no legal restraints in the way of appointing female judges to these courts.

Mervat El-Tellawy, chief of the Arab Women’s Organization, said that the idea of the Sustainable Development Agenda is proof of a new approach in regards to methods related to dealing with development. El-Tellawy added that development in women’s related issues can't be executed through “isolated efforts by divided sectors.”

"Development should be carried out through integrated operations implemented by the cooperative bodies under a unified philosophy and objective," El-Tellawy said.

She also cited the importance of statistics as a representation of developmental work, because they are the proof of reform. She added that the responsibilities and assignments of statistics agencies would be doubled in order to provide comprehensive and accurate studies.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Egypt, the Gender Inequality Index of Egypt is 130 out of 187 countries according to the 2014 Human Development Report, and 77th out of 88 countries on gender empowerment and political participation.


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