Egypt's women council slams Shura MPs over UN criticism

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Apr 2013

The National Council for Women was criticised in a Shura Council session on women's rights


The state body the National Council for Women (NCW) sent a letter to the speaker of the Shura Council, Ahmed Fahmy, on Monday denouncing an attack on the NCW during a meeting of the Shura’s human rights committee on Sunday.

The committee meeting was discussing the rights of women in Egypt at the request of Shura Council member Nadia Henry, and included discussion of a recent UN charter on ending violence against women.

The NCW urged the human rights committee not to speak without evidence, saying that the charter did not include some of the points raised by members of the committee.

The council also asked Fahmy to make sure that the council is not biased towards a single ideology.

Adel Afify, the leader of the Salafist Asala Party and member of the committee, stated that Egypt agreed and signed the charter despite having reservations. The Islamist MP criticised what he referred to as women's rights organisations who were supporting the charter.

The representative of Nour Party in the commission, Mohamed Azab, said during the meeting at the Shura Council that the former regime exploited religion, claiming that the Mubarak regime wanted to raise the marriage age in Egypt to 22 years but it failed because it could not find support in sharia rules and laws.  

Azab also added that Western civilisation treated women unfairly, forcing women to work in professions that do not suit her at all. "Our Islam is fair; it has the greatest protection for women and it grants her all her rights," Azab said.

The National Council for Women has announced that it has given a draft law to end violence against women in Egypt to Prime Minister Hisham Qandil on Sunday.

The draft law comprises five sections dealing with five forms of violence: physical violence, rape, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and exclusion of women from inheritance. Qandil had commissioned the council to draft the law earlier in the year.


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