The Cairo Centre for Development and Human Rights on Monday expressed deep concern and dismay at continuous efforts to subvert women’s rights and gender equality in Egypt.
According to a press release issued by the centre on Monday, Egypt continues to exclude and marginalise women “and continues to grab what has been gained by the Egyptian women’s struggle over more than a century”.
The centre said that while Egypt and the world celebrated International Women’s Day and a new initiative was launched by President Mohamed Morsi to support the rights and freedoms of Egyptian women, a local council president was removed from her post and replaced with a man.
Sharbat Taha Hassan was president of the village council of Dalas in Beni Suef, a position she had held since 2010. On 27 May, the centre said, Beni Suef Governor Maher Baybars transferred Taha Hassan to work as the head of public relations in the Nasser City council.
The centre said Taha Hassan was also the first woman ever to be elected president of a local council in Egypt. She was replaced by Mohamed Abdel Moneim Tawfik.
The development centre labelled the incident as discrimination based on gender and fear the governor may have been pressured to remove Taha Hassan from her post because she is a woman. “Considering what is being said about the ‘Brotherhoodisation’ of the state and the fact that [Abdel Moneim Tawfik] belongs to the Brotherhood,” the centre said, “the centre believes that if true, the choice was made not based on efficiency, but on loyalty.”
The centre concluded by calling on state officials to stop using women’s rights as a pretext for political gain and to respect women as equal citizens in the Egypt.