“On August 20th, 2018, the Arab Network for Research and Publishing – Egypt has posted to its Facebook page an announcement for the job vacancy of Sales Manager for its stores in Cairo and Alexandria, indicating within the requirements that the applicants should be “Males only”. This announcement is entirely at odds with the principals of equal opportunities and gender equality that are clearly stated in the constitution. Namely in Article (9) “The state ensures equal opportunity for all citizens without discrimination”, and Article (53) “Citizens are equal before the law, possess equal rights and public duties, and may not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, belief, sex, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographical affiliation, or for any other reason. Discrimination and incitement to hate are crimes punishable by law. The state shall take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination, and the law shall regulate the establishment of an independent commission for this purpose.” Under this article, all forms of discrimination, as well as any incitement of hate are criminalize. Consequently, any discriminatory practice is a punishable crime.
Additionally, Article (161) states that, “any action, or lack of action, that leads to discrimination between people or against a sect due to gender, origin, language, religion, or belief, resulting in violation of the principals of equal opportunities, or social justice, or disturbing the public peace, is punished by a minimum fine of EGP 30,000 and a maximum fine of EGP 50,000 and/or imprisonment. If the crime referred to hereunder is perpetrated by a civil servant, or a public servant, or any public service provider, it is then punished by a minimum sentence of three months’ imprisonment and/or a minimum fine of EGP 50,000 and a maximum fine of EGP 100,000
On leaving a comment on the previously mentioned post describing it as discriminatory against women, a barrage of insults was hurled at the Egyptian Lawyer Aziza Al-Taweel by the page’s administrator. On August 24th, the page removed the requirement in question, the Network did not, however, apologize for the discriminatory add, or the insults hurled at Al-Taweel by its page’s administrator. Wherefore, on August 25th, Aziza Al-Tweel filed an insult and libel report at Abdeen Police station, and also a report on a discriminatory job announcement.
The undersigned stand in solidarity with Aziza Al-Taweel in her report against the Network, especially that their responses indicate that the job is still available for “males only”. As they stated in their responses that the responsibilities of the announced job requires physical strength that women do not possess. Such belief is another form of imposing guardianship over women by limiting them to certain professions exclusively, as well as imposing conventional and stereotypical limitations to the fields of work that women can engage in instead of assessing applicants on basis of competency and according to a set of objective standards that ensure equality between men and women in employability.
Hence, the undersigning demand that:
• Authorities should seriously address the complaint filed by Lawyer Azza El-Taweel
• The State should speedily promulgate the law on “Anti-Discrimination Commission” as stated in Article (53) of the constitution
• Authors and writers who have any ties with the Network should take a public stance towards the incident
The undersigning stress that the feminist and human rights struggle will continue to fight against all forms of violence and discrimination that women face everywhere denying them many of their rights, including their right to work. They call upon all democratic forces to stand together for equal employment opportunities, and gender justice.
• Egyptian Association For Comprehensive Development
• Hawaa El Mostaqbal Association
• Egyptian Female Lawyers for Women’s Rights
• Cairo Foundation for Development and law
• Women and Memory Forum
• Act – Appropriate Communications Techniques For Development
• New Woman Foundation
• Al-Mashreq Foundation for Development
• Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance