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Constitutional Amendments Exclude Women Candidates for the Presidential Elections

Statement of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR)

2nd March 2011

The Egyptian Coalition for Civic Education and Women's Participation has received and reviewed the constitutional amendments. These amendments have led to great worries amongst the coalition for they did not achieve what the Egyptian people aimed for, nor meet the revolution's demands. As such the amendments are restoring the system of the past regime.

The Coalition has many notices as follows:

Article 75:

The article was amended to guarantee that "Egypt’s president is born to two Egyptian parents and cannot be married to a non-Egyptian woman. Neither he nor his parents shall have another nationality except the Egyptian one. He shall practice his own civil and political rights". These amendments limited nominations to men only for many reasons:

1. The phrase "cannot be married to non-Egyptian woman" is only limited to the spouse of man; the thing that means that the president will necessarily be a man.

2. The claim that masculine nouns in Arabic language include both men and women is not an accurate claim, because the Holy Qur'an that is the source of the Arabic language mentioned, most of the times, women beside men when saying " The submitting men, the submitting women, the believing men, the believing women … " and did not mention a masculine noun as a reference to both men and women.

3. The word "non-Egyptian woman" limited the nomination to men only, if we agree that masculinity could include both male and female, but femininity could not apply to male.

Thus, we suggest that the text reads as "shall not be married to a non-Egyptian".

Article 76:

Amendment of this article reflects a clear disruption of equal opportunities, since they equated a candidate for party who will gain seat by the parliamentary elections with an independent candidate who has to gain 30000 votes from 15 governorates. Thus, this approach paves the way before the electoral briberies, buying votes, in addition that it puts the future of the president in the hands of a specific power.

Article 189:

As for the formation of a constituent in order to issue a new constitution by elections of People's assembly and Upper House; it makes the constituent prone to balance of powers inside the council, since it does not stipulate standards that ensure existence of women and men experts from outside the councils. The text is general which may lead to having all the members of the constituent are those of the council. Thus the new constitution will not be created to be a constitutional or legal regime that is desired for Egypt; instead it will be created according to the dominated powers in the parliament. Thus, it is necessary to include a condition whereby the constituent should have experts from outside both of the two councils, in which gender balance should be taken in consideration in order to have sound participation of women experts. In Addition to the dire need for an election methodology that ensures participation of all members of society.

For more information contact the Coalition coordinator "The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights":

135 Misr-Helwan El Zeraay, Floor 2, Ste. 3

Hadayek el Maadi, Cairo, Egypt

Telephone: (+202) 25271397 / 25282176

Fax: (+202) 25282175



Members of the coalition:

1. The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights- Helwan

2. Andalus institute for tolerance and anti-violence studies- Cairo

3. Association of Human Communication- Cairo

4. Health and Environmental Culture Society- Cairo

5. Egyptian Medical Women's Association- Helwan

6. Citizen's Society for Development and Human Rights - Giza

7. Vision Society for Enlightenment and Community Development- El Menia

8. Association of population development and the preservation of the environment- Cairo

9.The Egyptian Society for Marketing and Development- Cairo

10. With You Society for Social Assistance- Helwan

11. Gozour Society for the comprehensive Development- Helwan

12. The Egyptian Society for Family Empowerment- Giza/p>

13. The Legislative Association in Bakri Mastour- Qalioubia

14. Pioneers Society for Development- Giza

15. Al Zohor Association for Development - 6th of October

16. Society Development Association in Sakil – 6th of October

17. The Egyptian Association for Environmental and Humanitarian Development - Al Qualiubia

18. Our Society Association for Development and Human Rights - Cairo

19. Association of Women and Child Development - Al Qualiubia

20. The legislative Association in Saa'd Zaghlol – Al Qualiubia

21. Legal Association for the support of Family and Human rights – Cairo

22. Mary Girgis Youth Association – Cairo

23. Hope Association in Al Aslougy – Sharkia

24. Women for Development Association – 6th of October

25. The Egyptian Association for Defend and support – Helwan

26. Ayatollah Association – Giza

27. Economic Liberalization Association – Cairo

28. Family Care Association - Giza

29. Al Sharkia Youth Association – Al Sharkia

30. Al Mashrek Association for Population Development – Sharkia

31. Cairo Center for Development – Giza

32. Kelmetna Association for Dialogue and Development – Cairo

33. Friends of Youth and Environment Association – October

34. Frasis Charitable Association for Society's Development – Gharbia

35. Al Hayat Association in Zifta

36. The Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for Development – Giza

37. Future Association for Development – Aswan

38. Nahdet el Fayuom Association- Fayuom

39. The Association of the interested people in education and development – Fayoum

40. Al Tanweer Centre for Development and Human Rights – Giza

41. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights – Cairo

42. Nama'a Association for Development and Human Rights – Al Gharbia

43. Hawaa Future Association – Giza

44. Ismailia Generations for Development Association – Ismailia

45. Haq Center for Democracy and Human Rights – Cairo

46. Association for the Support and Development of Education – Giza

47. New Fustat Association - Cairo

48. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights – Cairo

49. Bint Al Nil Association – Cairo

50. Kirtas Masr Association – Cairo

51. Egyptian Democratic Institute – Cairo

52. Oioun Masr Association for human rights – Gharbia

53. Shoa'a Association for Development and Human Rights Studies / under construction – Giza

54. I am Egyptian Association – Cairo

55. Red Crescent Association – Sohag

56. Human Rights Association – Assiut

57. Al Hana Women's Association – Cairo

58. Friends of Youth and the environment - Qaliubiya

59. Center of Children's rights – Cairo

60. Konouz Association for Development - Kafr El- Sheikh

61. The Arab dream Association - Kafr El-Sheikh

62. Community Development Association in Zafarana - Kafr El-Sheikh

63. Alrob' Charitable Association - Kafr El-Sheikh

64. Social Welfare Association - Kafr El-Sheikh

65. Resala Association – Kafr el Sheikh/p>

66. Craft Projects Development Association- Kafr el Shiekh

67. Bint El Riaydh Association- Kafr el Sheikh

68. Said Salem Society Development Association- Kafr el Sheikh

69. The National Center for Human Rights- Kafr el Sheikh

70. Association of modern women- Kafr el Sheikh

71. The Egyptian Center for Creativity and development and training

72. Middle East Media Association- Cairo

73. Women and Development Association- Alexandria

74. Tanweer Center Association- El Menia

75. Center for the defenders of human rights- Cairo

76. Our Dream Foundation for comprehensive Development – Qaliubia

77. Nahdet Misr Association- El Menia

78. El Sabr ei El Eman Association- Helwan

79. Dakahlia people Association – Helwan

80. Association of cities of steel- Helwan

81. Egyptian media professionals- Gharbia

82. The Arab Center- Cairo

83. The Egyptian Center for Creativity and Development

84. Future Businesswomen Association

85. Regional Federation for Associations- Gharbia

86. Shehab Foundation for Comprehensive Development Foundation

87. Seekers of Society Development Association- Fayuom

88. Association of Social Care for the specific Categories- Helwan

89. Arab Women Association for Development- Ismailia

90. Hayat Center Evangelical Church Doubbara Palace- Cairo

91. National Association for Youth Rights- Cairo

92. Civil Association for Children Cooperation- Cairo

93. Tijan Association for Society Development- Ismailia

94. Society Development Association in Bahnsa- El Menia

95. El Ghad El Moushreq Association for the Differently needed and Development

96. Association of Industrial Development Science for the Crafts

97. National Youth Association- Helwan

98. Today Youth Association (Shabab El Hoyum)- Helwan

99. Fayuom's Sons Association for Development- Helwan

100. Human Lovers Association- Helwan

101. Society Association for Development in Shaloufa- Suez

102. Coast people Association for Society Development- Suez

103. Society Development Association in Bandaf- Sharqia

104. Society Development Association in Kafr Badran- Sharqia

105. Society Development Association in Jadida- Sharqia

106. Masriya Association for Human Resources- Sharqia

107. Society Development Association in Magzer- Sharqia

108. Society Development Association in Shalshalmon- Sharqia

109. Society Development Association in Beni Khalil- Sharqia

110. The Coptic Charitable Association in Meet Beshar- Sharqia

111. Shahid FeloBatir Association in Kafr Salama Ibrahim- Sharqia

112. Society Development Association in Shobra el Enab- Sharqia

113. Zohoor el Hayat Association- Alexandria

114. El Sendousy Foundation- Alexandria

115. The Egyptian Legal and Constitutional Association for Human Rights- Alexandria

116. Family Planning Association- Alexandria

117. Youth Without Borders Community- Cairo