Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Equality Now, an international lobby for women and girls' rights, Thursday expressed concern that Egyptian women’s rights were eroding in the post-revolution era and called on Egyptian authorities to support the demands of its women on International Women’s Day.
The group urged Egyptian authorities to ensure that the steps laid out in the Egyptian Women’s Charter are implemented, including rights of political and economic participation, representation in government and equality before the law.
“Despite the promise of the early political changes in Egypt, which inspired the belief that a newly democratic country would include women as full social and political partners, Egyptian women rather fear further deterioration of their rights,” the lobby said in a statement it issued to mark International Women’s Day, being observed around the world Thursday (8March).
Women in Egypt were due to march in Cairo Thursday calling again for implementation of the Egyptian Women’s Charter, drawn up last year by more than 3,000 women and endorsed by half a million Egyptian citizens, both men and women.
“Equality Now supports the continuing efforts of Egypt’s women to hold Egyptian authorities accountable for the promotion and protection of their human rights,” it said, noting that since June 2011, women have lost seats in Parliament and presently there are only three women in the Cabinet.
Urging the Egyptian authorities to take action, Equality Now listed six demands made by Egyptian women.
These include equality among all citizens, women and men, in the provisions of the constitution and all laws, and creation of mechanisms that would ensure their proper implementation and recourse for any violations.
It said the authorities must also ensure gender equality and fair representation of qualified and experienced women in the committee that will write Egypt’s new constitution.
In addition, they should take appropriate measures to ensure fair political participation of women at all levels of decision-making - in political parties, trade unions and state institutions; preserve the social and economic rights achieved by women in their previous struggles and ensure their ability to attain them.
The lobby also urged Egyptian authorities to comply with all international treaties that protect the rights of women, children and human beings in general, and work on lifting reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination that was adopted by the UN in 1979.
It emphasized that Egypt should establish full citizenship rights and the rule of law that will lead to the revocation of all forms of discrimination based on sex, age, marital status, class or ideological affiliation.
According to Equality Now, Egyptian women played a prominent role in the revolution of early 2011 as essential organizers, leaders and spokespersons besides demonstrating in large numbers in the streets.
However, post-revolution events, such as fundamentalists calling for sex segregation in public transportation and for women to be veiled, have made women’s rights activists anxious that women may be sidelined.
Founded in 1992, Equality Now advocates for the human rights of women and girls around the world by raising international visibility of individual cases of abuse and mobilizing public support through global membership.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 8Mar2012