Arab Women in Revolution: Reports from the Ground

Part: 17

Male Domination in Egypt is Only Half a Revolution

Monday, March 14, 2011

Egyptian women fought for the overthrow of Mubarak alongside men. But now the male-domination of transitional politics is like going backwards, writes Nadya Khalife of Human Rights Watch.

Page 2 of 2

Some Measures Taken

The Mubarak government took some measures to include women in the political process and public life.

It reserved 64 seats for women in the People's Assembly, the lower house of parliament, but women were left out of the Shura Council, parliament's consultative body. A small number of women were appointed to judgeships, but women are not represented on the boards of professional syndicates or trade unions, despite being active in the labor movement.

The participation of women, on an equal footing with men, should be an indispensable part of Egypt's transition to democracy. Much more needs to be done as the government evolves to secure women's participation. Egyptian women's rights activists sense a need to seize this opportunity to call loudly for women to be included in all aspects of the transition.

There are real risks that women will be left on the sidelines, without a voice and unable to help shape a transition to a democratic Egypt.

The stakes are high.

The country could be on the threshold of a social and cultural revolution that will transform the lives of women and men. Or events may pass women by altogether, leaving us again on the fringes of society.

There is no better time than right now for men and women to sit down together at the table and make decisions about a new Egypt. The chants of "hurria, hurria" (freedom, freedom) should mean freedom for all--and equality should be at the heart of these calls.

Subscribe

Would you like to Send Along a Link of This Story?
http://www.womensenews.org/story/equalitywomen%E2%80%99s-rights/110313/male-domination-in-egypt-only-half-revolution?page=0,1

Would you like to Comment but not sure how? Visit our help page at http://www.womensenews.org/help-making-comments-womens-enews-stories.

Nadya Khalife is the women's rights researcher for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.

For more information:

Middle East/North Africa, Human Rights Watch:
http://www.hrw.org/en/middle-east/n-africa

1 COMMENTS | Login or Sign Up to post comments

RELATED STORIES

Egypt

Cairo Women Stunned by Male Harassment at Protest

I wish great success to the women of Egypt.

Women's enews events

ARAB WOMEN IN REVOLUTION: REPORTS FROM THE GROUND SERIES

Part: 23

Egypt's Women Keep Showing Power in Protest

Part: 22

Egyptian Upholds Sex-War View of Revolution

Part: 21

Young Moroccans Keep Arab-Spring Spirit Alive

Part: 20

Iraq's Refugees in Jordan Live in Desperate Limbo

Part: 18

Human Rights Groups Blur Issues of Women Rights

Part: 17

Arab Women's Forum Presents Revolution 'Lite'

Part: 16

Egypt's Feminist Union Undergoing Reincarnation

Part: 15

Arabic Twitter Stars Come Face-to-Face in Cairo

Part: 14

In the New Tunisia, Women's Rights Are in Play

Part: 13

Libya Liberation Speech Raises Hackles on Polygamy

Part: 12

U.S. and Arab Women: Both Demand Democracy

Part: 11

Bahrain's Young Women Keep the Revolution Aloud

Part: 10

Lebanon Protesters Take Aim at Family Law System

Part: 9

Journalist's Tweets Give Voice to Libya Uprisings

Part: 8

Algerian Women Test the 'Arab Spring' Winds

Part: 7

Male Domination in Egypt is Only Half a Revolution

Part: 6

Cairo Women Stunned by Male Harassment at Protest

Part: 5

Zimbabwe Discourages Interest in Arab Uprisings

Part: 4

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Raises Sharia Question

Part: 3

Logan Attack Doesn't Brand the Entire Middle East

Part: 2

Cairo Leaders: Suzanne Mubarak Held Women Back

Part: 1

Egyptian Women Lay Claim to Revolutionary Role