Masr Alhureyya Party calls for women’s rights and representation
Mervat al-Talawy, Head of the National Council for Women - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Masr Alhureyya Party called for adequate representation of women in the parliament and in official state positions as outlined in the new constitution, in a statement released Monday on the party’s official Facebook page.

The party also called for equal legal and labor rights and the prohibiting of gender discrimination.

In the new constitution, 49 articles were amended in favor of women, said Mervat al-Talawy, head of the National Council for Women, during a speech at a women’s conference Dec. 7.

Talawy said the new constitution outlines many gains for Egyptian women, including stating that women are entitled to 25 percent of seats at local councils. This means that out of 54,000 seats, women are to be represented in at least 13,000 seats across local municipalities.

Article 11 of the constitution guarantees gender equality for citizens in “civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in addition to the right to hold public office and senior management positions in the state and to be recruited by judicial institutions without discrimination.”

The latter in particular is considered a step forward, as women’s participation in judicial life was previously a controversial issue.

The new constitution does not commit the government to appointing women to judicial posts, although it does guarantee their right to join judicial institutions, Judge Ahmed Al-Khateeb of the Cairo Court of Appeal told Youm7 on Feb. 7.

Khateeb added that the constitution referred the issue to the judiciary in order to avoid interference in judicial affairs.

Additional reporting by Eman Ali and Mostafa Abdel Tawab.

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