By Omneya Makhlouf
Article 8 mandates that the state guarantee equal opportunity to all. Article 9 discusses the importance of the Egyptian family under “religion, morality and patriotism;” Article 10 ensures the “protection of motherhood;” and Article 11 ensures the “harmonization between duties of women toward the family and her work in the society,” further emphasizing that her status in all aspects of life is equal to that of a man without violating Islamic law.
Article 9 included the state’s obligation to “ensure safety, security and equal opportunities … without discrimination.” Aspects of 1971’s articles 10 and 11 were combined under article 10 but the ‘equality’ wording was removed and a clause was added delineating free maternal health services and “protection” for divorced and widowed women as well as breadwinners.
This draft removes the safety and security clause added to Article 9 and maintains the wording regarding refraining from discrimination. It retains Article 10 and extends women’s rights under Article 11. This includes equality between men and women, representation of women in parliament, rights of women in the government and judicial bodies, protection against violence, female empowerment, and insurance of protection from discrimination. Under Article 180 of the latest draft, women are allocated one-quarter representation in local councils. Article 214 of this constitution specifically creates the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, which are able to enjoy technical, financial, and administrative independence. These councils were created previously by presidential decree.