False Arguments for Banning Appointment of Women to Egypt’s State Council

Posted on 23 July 2010 by

FWID’s Statement Concerning Counselor Adel Farghali’s Press Release

The Forum for Women in Development expresses its deepest sorrow for the shocking and offensive statement by Counselor Adel Farghali, the chairman of the committee discussing the appointment of women in the State Council. Counselor Farghali said that the experience of female judges has proven a failure, which contradicts the truth. A lot of people as well as the reality itself have witnessed the efficiency and commitment of women in the positions they have occupied.

Egypt Desert Tree (cc) ingirogiro

Egypt Desert Tree (cc) ingirogiro

This statement also contradicts Counselor Moqbil Shaker’s testimony, the former head of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary and the head of the judicial authority in Egypt at the time of acceptance of females in the general prosecution. Counselor Shaker admitted that this was a successful experience by all means, hence the general prosecution’s abstaining from admitting females this year is a testament against it and not against women who have proven ability and excellence in the field of the judicial authority according to the head of the judiciary himself, just like they did in all fields they endeavored to join after a long fight for more than a century.

The strange thing is that while Counselor Farghali was promoting his vision, he raised the question that has been answered long ago: are women mature enough to assume judicial positions? Then he said “No” based on a more obscure argument, which is that some of them are carrying out exterior agendas for Fundamentalist trends that promote wearing the veil (Niqab/Burqa). At this point we have to ask him: Is it acceptable to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights because of their appearance? And what does he think of men who grow beards and wear Galabeyas (Islamic Dress)? And is this a reason for depriving all men from working in the judiciary or any other profession? Not all women wear the veil (Burqa) and not all men grow beards.

Counselor Adel Farghali drives false arguments for preventing women from the judicial positions at the State Council when he says it is because of the practical conditions that include the absence of proper break areas in the provinces, ignoring the fact that this argument stands against the officials of the State Council in Egypt and not against women. According to the constitutional rights of citizens and article 11 of the Constitution which obliges the state to take measures to ensure that the citizens attain their rights, and under international conventions ratified by the State including CEDAW, Article 2 / 3 which obliges the State to take necessary measures to ensure women’s access to their rights and ensure the elimination of discrimination against women in the political field. The logical question is why aren’t such break areas being prepared today if there was an intention to admit women to the State Council?

The Forum for Women In Development regrets that the conservative wave that hit the community has affected the State Council as well, and that the State Council put itself in a contradictory situation as it can not establish abstaining from appointing female judges, even if temporary, on the law and the Constitution which explicitly states that all Egyptians are equal and thus the state council stands against the Constitution and the law.

We are confident that this pseudo battle will inevitably end in confirming the rights of women and opening all the doors of the judiciary to them based on the Constitution, law and the reality which underlines their worthiness and highlights their potentials in all areas.

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