The Care of the Children of Female Prisoners Association, represented by its President Nawal Mustafa, managed to collect the signatures of 60 deputies to discuss a draft law on imposing alternative punishments on female debtors as an alternative to imprisonment, in the Egyptian parliament.
The association proposes replacing the prison sentence with civil service in hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes.
According to the Ministry of Social Solidarity, 25% of the total number of prisoners in Egypt are female debtors. These debtors are women who were overwhelmed by poverty and forced to borrow money but were unable to pay their debts, and they ended up in prison. Article 376 of the Egyptian Penal Code (Act No. 58 of 1937) stipulates that debtors may face up to three years’ imprisonment for not paying their dues.
Mrs. Nawal Mustafa pointed out that the draft law to be discussed in the parliament is the fruit of an effort of more than two years of research and study on the different social, economic and legal aspects of the situation of female debtors, with the support of more than 25 institutions and associations that joined the association in the National Alliance for the Protection of Women, which it has launched in January 2017.
The Care of the Children of Female Prisoners Association was founded in 1990 to care for children who were born in prison behind bars. In 2007, the association launched a pilot project called "Female Prisoners of Poverty", and in 2014 it launched a workshop called ‘’A project of Life” in Al Qanater with the aim of empowering, educating and providing vocational training to female debtors after their release from prison.
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.