The Egyptian Coalition of Feminist Organizations has been following with great distress the news about the new Cabinet reshuffle, which came without any women ministers, except for Ms. Fayza Aboul-Naga, who has been handed down to the new Cabinet from the pre-revolution Cabinets; all of this despite the active presence of qualified women in the ministries that witnessed change. This attitude of ignoring women’s representation coincides with the government’s policies of neglecting women’s issues in general, and marginalizing them at the level of decision-making positions in particular. It is unbecoming that two cabinet reshuffles, within a period of six months, shamefully persist on neglecting women’s representation. The recent Cabinet reshuffle involved 15 ministers, all of whom are men, with the one and only woman minister whose change has been a long-lasting demand of the revolutionary and protesting population.
The Egyptian Coalition of Feminist Organizations has been aware of this process of ignoring women’s representation ever since the selection of the Constitutional Amendment Committee, and throughout the successive cabinets, culminating with the negligence of the demands for a reformation and restructuring of the National Council for Women, which represents the national mechanism in charge of women’s rights in Egypt.
The Egyptian Coalition of Feminist Organizations considers the absence of women ministers in the new Cabinet reshuffle unacceptable and unfitting of a revolutionary government that should represent the interests of all the people holding sit-ins in the central squares around the country during the second wave of the revolution. It is, moreover, an absence that breaches the principles of citizenship, equality, and social justice, which form the governing foundations of Egypt in the light of our glorious revolution.
It is in this context that the Egyptian Coalition of Feminist Organizations asserts that the absence of women from leadership and decision-making positions is no longer acceptable, especially at the present historical moment. Women are partners in this country, and they have an absolute right to participate in making, implementing and monitoring the policies that concern their lives.
The Egyptian Coalition of Feminist Organizations, therefore, recommends a revision of the current Cabinet formation, so that the reshuffle includes at least four women ministers, and insists on taking women into consideration in any future formations. The Coalition also recommends that quick steps be taken towards the restructuring of the National Council for Women so that it actually represents women’s interests and rights in all fields and at all levels.
The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
The Women and Memory Forum
Nazra for Feminist Studies
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
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