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Women's Issues in Egypt

Middle East Politics: PSC 255

Farzana Razvi

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Women's Issues in Egypt

Women's Issues in Egypt Azka Asif, Deepak Jes, Stacey Lialios, Adam Didech & Farzana Razvi Women and minorities had wanted guarantees of equal rights, but that goal seems out of reach now that control of Egypt has shifted to an Islamist president with a new constitution Women in Egypt from a cultural standpoint sight of women protesting is hardly new Pre Arab Spring Marriage organizes relations within society
-Provides continuity of lineage through children
-Establishes status of individuals
married man vs. non-married man Marriage Culture -The country's new leadership remains overwhelmingly male
-Female candidates won only about 1 percent of the seats --Conservative Islamist parties support gender segregation and emphasize that women's primary role should be as homemakers Post Arab Spring Article 10 : which stipulates that the state"shall provide free maternal and child care services, and maintain a balance between a woman's obligations toward the family and public work". Article 36: which says that the "state is committed to taking all constitutional and executive measures to ensure equality of women with men in all walks of political, cultural, economic and social life, without violation of the rules of Islamic jurisprudence." Laws against all forms of racial discrimination to guarantee equality being snubbed by the assembly 1919: Veiled women in Cairo marched against British rule 1957: Egypt became the first country in the Arab world to elect a woman to parliament During the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser there was a general push for economic development 1970s: under Anwar Sadat and with encouragement from his wife Jehan women made further gains Since then: Progress had been stalled Egypt went through a series of consecutive invasions or conquests Egypt’s culture is a mixture of different elements Created an environment in which a woman’s rights were caught in a conflicting cultural foundation Historical events both within Egypt and outside Egypt Egyptian women as Muslims were caught in between Education -Drive for female education started in the fififties, when education was granted free to all citizens
-Despite this, the rate of female literacy has dropped Employment -Historically and traditionally, women were restricted
-Over the years new occupational prospects have emerged
-The number of women in the labor market has increased
-Support of a legislative system guaranteeing equality in both hiring procedures and wages Eman Morsi "People now send girls to college so they'll marry 'up' to a guy with a college degree." she says. "Going to college is a way to find a more suitable spouse." "Women are still concentrated in specializations such as literature, the humanities, and the social sciences, where they constitute the majority, which are not in high demand in the job market." -Huge differences between city life and village life have lead to enormous differences among the women.

-Seem to live in different countries—different centuries Legal Rights Regarding Marriage -Women do not have the same legal rights as men in the domain of personal status

-When a divorced couple has children, the mother retains custody only while they are young. The father may then claim them.

-Only Egyptian men have the right to pass on Egyptian nationality to their children. Reproductive Rights Marriage Contract Conditions:
1. Both parties must agree to marriage and stipulations
2. Couple must meet proper age requirements
3. Contract must be announced, notarized, and signed by two witnesses Marriage age tends to be late teens/early twenties for women and usually early to mid twenties for men Gawwaz el-Salonat: Living Room Marriage Divorce Laws Grounds on which Wives may
Apply for Divorce
1.If husband is imprisoned for 3 years
2.If the husband stops supporting her
3.If the husband deserts her for more than one year
4.If the husband is suffering from an incurable disease (insanity)
5.Sexual deficiency
6.Abuse or harm President Sadat:
-In 1979, President Sadat decreed PSL No. 44 of 1979
Annulled for unconstitutionality
-Personal status law
Annulled also Sexual Harassment and Assault Tahrir Square Study Restrictions NGO restrictions Access restrictions Universal restrictions ECWR Study 83% Tourism problems -excluding issues such as
-maternal mortality and morbidity
-unsafe abortions
-Female Genital Mutilation
- limited access to comprehensive family planning services and information -1994 International Conference on Population and Development
-Introduced Reproductive "health" language
--Main focus was on Family Planning Connection with assault 2005 Lara Logan Fighting back Family Planning -Strong government-led national family planning program.
- Contraceptive Prevalence Rate has increased from 47.6% in 1991 to 60.3% in 2008.
-Total Fertility Rate has been slowly declining from 4.4 live born children per woman in 1988 to 2.9 as of 2012.
-2017 goal: TFR 2 children/women Female Genital Mutilation -remains extremely widespread in Egypt.
- 2008 new legislation was passed criminalizing FGM/C practice nationwide
-2008: 95.2% of women were mutilated(15-49 years old)
- Only 65% of procedures are performed by someone with some type of medical training
- Procedures frequently go wrong
-Muslim and Christian tradition Unsafe Abortions -Religious and civil laws prohibit the procedures
-Unless the mother's life is in imminent danger
- 1996: out of 1,300 women, 1/3 had an abortion
-$460 done by a doctor in a private clinic
- Possible three years in prison
-About 35% are done without any medical supervision
- Overdoses of aspirin
- Cotton stalks, palm fronds or goose feathers soaked in gasoline
-Harmful consequences
-Post-abortion care is not readily available
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