Egypt Independent

Women’s organizations call for women quota system in the constitution

Women's rights organizations called for escalating actions in case of the newly-drafted Constitution's failure to meet the demands of women. These demands include a quota for women in all parliamentary and local council elections, regardless of the system of voting for individuals or by lists.
This calls came in a joint meeting held on Saturday by the National Council for Women in collaboration with the Coalition of Women Organizations, under the title “Women in the Constitution.” 
Women's rights organizations also demanded articles in the constitution obliging the state to honor all signed, international agreements and to abolish discrimination between men and women.
Participants suggested continuing the pressure to defend women's rights in the constitution by staging protests during the Constitutional Committee assemblies. 
The participants also said that if their demands were not met in the new constitution, female members would suspend their membership in the constitutional committee.
The pressure may escalate due to call for civil disobedience around the country and for all women to refrain from voting.
Head of the National Council for Women Mervat al-Tallawy, also a member of the 50-member Constitutional Committee, said that the meeting aims to identify the vision of civic organizations and women's associations on the constitution.
She stated that she seeks to hold a hearing session between members of the Constitutional Committee and representatives of women's organizations to discuss women's demands, in addition to a separate hearing session for women in different governorates around Egypt.
Maha Abu Bakr, a member of the Tamarod movement, said that the Constitutional Committee is leaning towards canceling all types of quotas in the system. She, therefore, proposed drafting an article in the chapter of transitional justice which would be an exception and for a specific period of time to contribute to the empowerment of women and youth.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm