International Human Rights Day: Unprecedented victories for women

In conjunction with International Human Rights Day, Egyptian women enjoyed unique and unprecedented gains during the era of the new republic. The Egyptian state was keen to launch strategies, initiatives, and community programs in support of women. This served as a huge contribution to building their capabilities and empowering them politically, economically, and socially, besides integrating them as an active and pioneering component in sustainable development plans. These gains were preserved by developing a legislative and institutional framework supportive of their rights while making sure to improve their role in various fields and enhance women’s ability to face challenges.

The National Human Rights Strategy, which was launched by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, singled out a special axis for promoting the human rights of women, children, people with disabilities, youth, and the elderly, which is the third axis of the strategy.

The most prominent efforts taken to empower women were:

– The number of women in parliament has reached 204 in parliament in its two chambers, the “Representatives and the Senate,” compared to 9 seats in 2012 in the “Representatives”.

– Unprecedented gains at the level of the judiciary and an increase in the number of female judges. For the first time in 76 years, 98 female judges will be appointed to the State Council in 2021.

– Examination of more than 28 million women as part of the presidential initiative to support women’s health.

– Adoption of a law amending some provisions of the Penal Code to increase the penalty for female genital mutilation.

– Amending some provisions of the Penal Code, by increasing penalties for exposure to others and sexual harassment, provided that it is a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

– Amending the Inheritance Law No. 77 of 1943 regarding inheritance, to face imprisonment for no less than 6 months and a fine of at least 20,000 pounds and no more than one hundred thousand pounds, or one of these two penalties, for anyone who refuses to hand it over.

– Preserving the confidentiality of the victim’s data in harassment cases, in addition to Article No. 113 bis of the Code of Criminal Procedure, stating that the investigating judge may, at his discretion, not prove the victim’s data in any of the crimes stipulated in Part Four of the Penal Code, or in Articles 306 bis A and B of the same law, or in Article 96 of Law No. 12 of 1996 promulgating the Child Law.

– Amendment of Law No. 58 of 1937, known as the Alimony and Funeral Law. The amendment of the law aimed at confronting evaders from paying alimony and this problem is considered one of the most important problems of personal status issues that women suffer from.

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