(Cairo Feb 20th, 2017) ECWR expresses its strong dissatisfaction at the Salafist movement stance rejecting the appointment of a woman in the position of governor. The Salafists attempt to use the Islamic religion to manipulate the feelings of the working class in Egypt to abduct the Egyptian state and extort the country’s leadership to meet any demand of theirs.
This shows their lack of knowledge of the 2014 Egypt's Constitution, which received unanimous votes. Article (2) of the 2014 Constitution stipulates that: "Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language. The Principles of Islamic Shari’a are the principal source of legislation."
It is indisputable that the Islamic Shari'a emphasizes that all people are equal, like the teeth of a comb. In a saying (Hadith) for the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, he said "There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a ... over the black, nor is the black superior over the white — except by piety."
The 2014 Egypt's constitution ensures that in Article (11), which states that “The State is committed to achieve equality between men and women in all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as per the provisions of the constitution;The State is committed to take the necessary measures to ensure appropriate representation for women in the Parliament Chambers as specified by law; and shall ensure women’s rights to hold public posts, high management posts, and appointment in the judiciary without discrimination; The State shall be committed to protecting women against all forms of violence, empowering them to reconcile between the duties of a women towards her family and her work requirements; The State shall also be committees to providing special care and protection to the motherhood and childhood, female breadwinners, the elderly women, and the more needy women."
Women leadership has no contradiction with the Islamic Shari’a as women attained the position of heads of states in many Islamic countries. Therefore, it is unacceptable that the Salafist movement attempt to make women return to the dark ages, at a time we hope and work to prohibit discrimination and implement justice and equality. Many other Arab and Islamic countries already overcame such backward speech and were able to benefit from their women cadres as well as appoint them in positions benefiting their countries.
For instance, the United Arab Emirates, in its most recent cabinet reshuffle, added 8 new ministers, 5 of them are women. In addition, the Pakistani Prime Minister appointed Mrs. TehminaJanjuaas Foreign Minister; to be the first woman in Pakistan to hold such a sovereign position. In Indonesia, Megawati Sukarno was the first woman to assume the presidency on July 23rd, 2001 till her reign ended 2004.
The Status of Egyptian Women in Egypt ranks amongst the worst 20 countries with regards to women, despite the recent progress attained. Per the latest statistics of the Gender Gap Report in 2016, Egypt ranked the 132nd out of 144 countries. This report classifies the world's countries according to the equality between women and men in terms of full and effective participation in various fields are policy, education, the economy, and health.
Hence, ECWR and the Egyptian Civil Society strongly condemn the use of political Islam and greatly support the decision to appoint Egyptian women in the position of governor.
ECWR calls on: • The full implementation of the 2014 Constitution eliminating any discrimination against women, hoping to allocate one-third of the Board of Governors and a third of the Cabinet for women. • Working on clearing the religious heritage of the radical ideas that allows religious exploitation and returns society to the dark ages
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.