Egyptian NGOs Convene Focus Group on Women and the Constitution

Posted on: September 25, 2013, by :

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Karama in collaboration with the Women and Development Association and Alternative Parliament in Alexandria, held a focus group Sunday, September 15th to urgently priorities for women in the new Egyptian constitution.

The discussion, “Egyptian Women in thIMG_0519e Constitution,” was held in Alexandria, Egypt and convened sixty-eight women leaders and politicians, men and women NGO and trade union representatives, motivators, policy makers and media. Together, this group discussed a wide range of topics related to women’s inclusion and rights in the new constitution, including women’s right to vote, current gender equality limitations in Egypt, the feeble role of women in Egyptian parliament, and women’s demands in the new constitution.

The roundtable discussion resulted in a draft paper to be issued to the Constitutional Committee with fifty recommendations jointly prepared by the stakeholders convened.

Featured speakers included Dr. Mohamed Refaat Abdel-Wahab, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Alexandria, Ms. Aida Nour El Din, Cassation lawyer and President of the Women Development Association, Ms. Rehab Yahiya Abu Ella, Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Law, and Dr. Ashgan Farag, Country Director for Karama. Professor Ahmed Saleh, the Secretary General of the Regional NGOs Union in Alexandria facilitated the session.

Given the current environment in Egypt, and the aftermath of the revolution, where women saw themselves excluded from constitutional committees, isolated from decision making positions and structures, and targeted by amendments seeking to push back previous progress in promoting women’s rights, it is imperative to ensure women collectively identify their needs and priorities in the constitution and how to appropriately define these using appropriate language. This focus group was one of many initiatives aimed to ensure to the importance of women’s rights and a gender perspective in defining new laws and rights for the Egyptian people.

For the full list of recommendations, please click here.