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Women in 2011–2012 reports: Egypt

Egyptian women played a crucial role in the “25 January Revolution”, which overthrew the regime of President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Yet, it appears that this participation has improved neither their political representation nor their position in society in general. On the contrary, it seems that the political and military forces in power have undermined certain rights consolidated or acquired by women in the Mubarak era. The feminist movement, partly due to being associated with the former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, has found it increasingly difficult to promote women’s rights.

Political and legal developments

The quota system – which reserved 64 People’s Assembly seats for women – was abolished. It was replaced with a rule that every political party should include at least one woman on its list of candidates in parliamentary elections. Moreover, straight after the revolution women’s rights were not on the agenda of any political party, which arguably explains very limited political representation of women in both the parliament and the government.

Furthermore, some political parties have questioned important elements of women’s rights legislation, including:

The use of violence by the state

@JeanetteDietl / fotolia

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has not refrained from using violence against women. Numerous incidents have been reported, including:

Amidst ongoing clashes between President Musri’s opponents and supporters, it is still very difficult to predict what the future holds for Egyptian women.


Annual Report 2012 / Amnesty International.

World Report 2012: Egypt  / Human Rights Watch.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011: Egypt / U.S. Department of State.

The text is one of the four summaries published on the same day by the Library of the European Parliament. See also:
Women in 2011–2012 reports: Iran
Women in 2011–2012 reports: Syria

Women in 2011–2012 reports: Tunisia

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