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Saad El-Din El-Hilali: Gender Equality is a Right

Dr. Saad El-Din El-Hilali, a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, pointed out that when a man leaves his home, he is treated according to his humanity, unlike a woman who receives a different treatment. This happens daily in a country whose people are supposed to have religion number one.

El-Hilali indicated, during the symposium on “Women’s Role in Building Cultural and Moral Awareness” organized by the NCW at the Book Fair, that despite the establishment of civic education in 1908 when the Egyptian University was founded, girls didn’t enroll in the university until 20 years later, specifically in 1928.

He added that in his visits to foreign countries, he found that women receive equal treatment, and their humanity is not insulted. He stressed that equality is a right for women that people seem to ignore and is even rejected by multiple Islamic preachers.

He went on to mention the transformative role of women, as it was a woman who declared national unity in the 1919 revolution besides being one of the leaders of the national revolution.

Moreover, Al-Hilali stressed that the woman’s right to obtain part of her husband’s wealth is a fair request and does not need a fatwa, as women share their husbands in managing their life and household, so it’s unfair to deny her what she helped him achieve.

While in the case of divorce, it is a civil matter that takes place by mutual consent, and there are opinions of the Maliki and Hanbali ideologies that permit a woman to share her husband’s wealth with mutual consent between the two parties. The professor also stressed that we should put an end to terms like guardianship

Dr. Saad Al-Din Al-Hilali pointed out that laws trump fatwas, because fatwas tolerate wrong and right, while laws are the decisive factor and definitive reference that people trust. As for the Sharia, it is God’s direct orders that are agreed upon by all. Therefore, the government should enforce more laws that protect and liberate women against discrimination in all scopes.


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