The fact that Nazra for Feminist Studies had to close their office should not be divorced from the context of pressure exerted on civil society organizations, among which are feminist organizations. The new NGO law allows the state to tighten its grip on different organizations merely by refraining from responding to any letters regarding grants without providing any reasons, which is inconsistent with Article 75 of the constitution, that stipulates “[Non-Governmental Organizations] shall be allowed to engage in activities freely. Administrative agencies shall not interfere in the affairs of such organizations, dissolve them, their board of directors, or their board of trustees except by a judicial ruling.”
However, as our colleagues in Nazra stated, closing the office does not mean that Nazra’s work and struggle for women’s rights is coming to an end. Many offices are crowded with employees while having no significant impact. It is the sincere belief in the cause and the feminist movement that produces the greatest impact. Many feminist organizations firmly believe that women’s rights are human rights for which struggle will not be hindered by unjust administrative or judicial decisions, nor by media distortion or fund blockage. Despite all forms of restriction, limitation, and defamation, the feminist movement has achieved undeniable triumphs against the culture of discrimination and violence against women, and, as a result, putting these issues forward on the agendas of all social forces.
We salute our colleagues in Nazra for Feminist Studies for their determination to continue their work, and we assert the solidarity of feminist organization in all forms. Despite variance of methods and approaches, we all have the same purpose, that is Egyptian women enjoying all their human rights without discrimination or violence. We call upon all democratic forces to stand in solidarity with them in their legal battle to regain their legitimate right to legally continue to operate.
New Woman Foundation
Women and Memory Forum
Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
El Nadim Center for Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence