Laws Lawyers Find Laws Legal Forms State Laws
Home » Legal News » Women's Rights Groups Unhappy With New Egyptian Constitution

Women's Rights Groups Unhappy With New Egyptian Constitution

December 04, 2012 04:30pm  
According to Amnesty International, women's rights and people advocating for minority religious groups in Egypt are unhappy with a new proposed constitution.The new laws, if enacted, would significantly limit freedoms in the country, which has recently been torn apart by revolution and uncertainty about what form the new government should take. One of the biggest changes that some women's rights groups wanted to see was an end to child labor.However, many opposition political parties that were opposed to rules for the new governing assembly of Egypt boycotted the assembly to draft a constitution.The leaders of those parties claim that the assembly is not representative of Egyptian society, and say that the people of Egypt will not accept the constitution in its current form. Only seven women were part of the new 100 seat Egyptian assembly when it started.However, after protests led to even more parties boycotting the assembly, most women have left the assembly.According to the United Nations and Amnesty International, women are discussed only in the context of home and the family. A State Department spokesperson in the United States said in a press statement that the proposed constitutional changes “raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community.”The White House has so far refused to intervene on behalf of the groups who feel they have been unfairly treated by the new proposals. In addition to women's rights groups, a number of minority faiths are upset over a provision that allows for only three religious faiths in Egypt: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish.Other religious groups, including the Baha'i, are excluded from the list of approved religions, and the constitution may also prohibit some types of Muslim practice. One of the reasons these constitutional changes have been so unwelcome for many Egyptians is that the “Arab Spring” uprisings that gave rise to the new governmental negotiations was largely caused by groups who felt that the nation had not done enough to protect human rights.The new constitution also continues to allow trying civilians in military courts, a practice vehemently opposed to many who participated in the Arab Spring revolts. The one bright spot for women in the new constitutional changes is that a provision forcing women's issues to be decided solely on the basis of Islamic law was discarded.Excitement over the removal of this provision was short-lived, however, as Egyptian women discovered the new draft had also removed protections for discrimination on the basis of sex that had been proposed in earlier drafts. According to the U.S. State Department, the “constitutional vacuum” in Egypt has created instability that “can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that … respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt's international commitments.”The State Department encouraged Egyptian leaders to meet with opposition leaders to come to an agreement among all parties. Sources: amnesty.org, un.org, state.gov, hrw.org
Loading...
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Volume:
  • Mute
  • Half
  • Max
  • Women's Rights Groups Unhappy With New Egyptian Constitution

     

    According to Amnesty International, women's rights and people advocating for minority religious groups in Egypt are unhappy with a new proposed constitution.  The new laws, if enacted, would significantly limit freedoms in the country, which has recently been torn apart by revolution and uncertainty about what form the new government should take.

    One of the biggest changes that some women's rights groups wanted to see was an end to child labor.  However, many opposition political parties that were opposed to rules for the new governing assembly of Egypt boycotted the assembly to draft a constitution.  The leaders of those parties claim that the assembly is not representative of Egyptian society, and say that the people of Egypt will not accept the constitution in its current form.

    Only seven women were part of the new 100 seat Egyptian assembly when it started.  However, after protests led to even more parties boycotting the assembly, most women have left the assembly.  According to the United Nations and Amnesty International, women are discussed only in the context of home and the family.

    A State Department spokesperson in the United States said in a press statement that the proposed constitutional changes “raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community.”  The White House has so far refused to intervene on behalf of the groups who feel they have been unfairly treated by the new proposals.

    In addition to women's rights groups, a number of minority faiths are upset over a provision that allows for only three religious faiths in Egypt: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish.  Other religious groups, including the Baha'i, are excluded from the list of approved religions, and the constitution may also prohibit some types of Muslim practice.

    One of the reasons these constitutional changes have been so unwelcome for many Egyptians is that the “Arab Spring” uprisings that gave rise to the new governmental negotiations was largely caused by groups who felt that the nation had not done enough to protect human rights.  The new constitution also continues to allow trying civilians in military courts, a practice vehemently opposed to many who participated in the Arab Spring revolts.

    The one bright spot for women in the new constitutional changes is that a provision forcing women's issues to be decided solely on the basis of Islamic law was discarded.  Excitement over the removal of this provision was short-lived, however, as Egyptian women discovered the new draft had also removed protections for discrimination on the basis of sex that had been proposed in earlier drafts.

    According to the U.S. State Department, the “constitutional vacuum” in Egypt has created instability that “can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that … respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt's international commitments.”  The State Department encouraged Egyptian leaders to meet with opposition leaders to come to an agreement among all parties.

    Sources: amnesty.org, un.org, state.gov, hrw.org

    Comments

    Must Read

    Affirmative Action Explained Affirmative Action Explained
    People who are interested in the question of “What is affirmative action?” should refer specifically to the legislative history of the United States, in which affirmative action was first conceived and implemented as a means of reversing the effects of systemic discrimination in the educational and employment arenas with respect to members of groups deemed to be underprivileged.
    Civil Law Civil Law
    Civil law refers to the general category for legal systems derived or descended from the framework of laws through which the Roman Empire was administered.
    Direct Discrimination vs. Indirect Discrimination Direct Discrimination vs. Indirect Discrimination
    The concept of discrimination as an offense and a meaningful ground for legal action and remedy is understood in the legal system of the United Kingdom as being split into two specific subjects: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
    What are Civil Rights? What are Civil Rights?
    Civil rights are a basic category of human rights afforded to and held by all people according to the modern legal and political theory of the last few hundred years.
    Operation Confirm
    Are you sure you want to delete it?
      
    Tips