Women's Rights in Egypt
"This is why women's rights should be codified. Governments should be held responsible for treating men and women equally."
Islamist Members of Parliament in Egypt are trying to deprive Egyptian women of their basic rights by introducing several controversial draft laws that, if passed, will bring Egypt back to the Middle Ages:
-- The website Ahram Online reports that Islamists wants to cancel Law 1 of the year 2000, known as the Khula Law, which acts as an alternative route for women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce. Through the Khula Law, courts grant women a divorce so long as they return the dowry paid by her husband prior to the marriage. Law 1 of the year 2000 was considered a step forward in women rights. Before that, Egyptian women did not have the right to divorce their husbands on their own terms.
Khula Law's opponents argue that a woman should not be able to ask for divorce, as it is against Islamic Sharia law. As reported by the news agency AINA, the Islamist lawmaker and main Khula Law's opponent, Mohamed El-Omda, has argued that the process is an offense to the Sharia and that is a poorly hidden attempt to Westernize Egypt.
-- According to media reports, Islamist parties are also preparing a draft law for early marriage that would permit girls to get married at the age of 14 instead of 18. As reported by Ahram Online, in the past few months, Salafist MPs have argued that there should be no minimum age for marriage for either sex, explaining that in the Sharia Law, an age for marriage is not specified.
Women activists are trying to campaign against this draft. "A license to drive, and to even vote, requires you to be 18 years old or older. Are those things more important than being a parent and forming a family?" said Azza Soliman, a legal assistant at the Centre for Egyptian Women. As reported by Ahram Online, she added she believes it is wrong to set the age of marriage below 18, or even "12, as some imply."
-- A controversial statement was instead made by Azza El Garf, a woman and a parliamentarian belonging to the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the ruling Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood ruling . Al-Garf clearly points out that she disagrees with the Egypt's 2008 ban on genital mutilation, to which she referred as a barbaric practice as beautification plastic surgery.
- Egyptian media recently reported about a draft law that would allow a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours after her death. Members of the Egyptian parliament said that the draft does not exist and that it was a story made up by the media. However, as reported by Al-Arabiya, the "Farewell Intercourse" is not a new proposal. Last year, a Moroccan cleric, Zamzami Abdul Bari, was the first to state that a husband could have sex with his dead wife. The Moroccan cleric argued that marriage remains valid even after death adding, perhaps implausibly, that a woman can also engage in sex with her dead husband.
-- Ahram Online also reports that Islamists have called for cancelling the implementation of CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly; they alleged that "it contains articles that contradict Islamic Sharia."
Egypt's National Council for Women is campaigning against the above mentioned Islamist initiatives that are targeting women rights, saying that "marginalizing and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country's human development."
Amal Al-Malki, a Qatari author, has been arguing on Arabic Al-Jazeera that the Arab Spring has so far failed women in their struggle for equality: "We have no voice. We have no visibility... And I am telling you, this is why women's rights should be codified; they should not be held hostage in the hands of political leaders who can change in a second, right? Governments should be held responsible for treating men and women equally."
Reader comments on this item
|Escaping from Tyranny [62 words]||Robinoz||May 4, 2012 21:20|
Comment on this item
by Louis René Beres
The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.
by Samuel Westrop
Over 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.
Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.