By RepresentWomen on April 07, 2021
By Fatma Tawfik
On International Women’s Day, President Sisi ordered the Ministry of Justice to hire women in the Egyptian council of state and the public prosecution for the first time in history.
The minister of justice Omar Marawan responded to the presidential initiative, stating: “President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's directions for the work of women in the State Council and the Public Prosecution came as a gift to women and complete their constitutional rights in the judicial authorities, explaining that the woman works across all judicial bodies and only those two positions were the exception until now”
On March 10th, 2021, the State Council adopted the President's initiative, by approving women’s nominations to the State Council. Additionally, the council released the requirements for women looking to join prosecutorial roles and other judicial posts, including:
- The member must have an excellent/very good graduation degree.
- The member should hold two post-graduate diplomas, by at least one of them at public or administrative law.
- The member should never have received a disciplinary penalty or remark.
- The applicant should pass the personal interview held by the nominated committee at the council of state.
- And the applicant should fulfill all the legal requirements stated by the law.
Prior to the President's order, women were banned from entering both judicial bodies. Although, women have filed several legal suits against the State Council based on discriminatory practices; but, the State Council has previously dismissed those appeals, stating in the 2017 report that the State Council “has the freedom to choose who occupies judicial positions and that there is no explicit provision in the Egyptian constitution obliging the council to appoint women.”
This achievement comes on the heels of a social media campaign (الولاية_حقي#) in Egypt, which demands a new Personal Status Law which grants Egyptian women guardianship rights over themselves and their children. In this campaign, Egyptian women expressed their daily suffering with laws and regulations that deny them the right to guardianship over their children and even their bodies. Women’s new roles in the judiciary could help the path forward transforming the online campaign into tangible and legal rights.
Fatma Tawfik is a research intern for RepresentWomen. Fatma graduated from Beni-Suef University this past spring with a bachelor's degree in political science.