The presidency and government are not doing enough to empower women and make them a part of the decision-making process, said the Women’s Parliament in a statement issued on Sunday.
The women’s rights group called on uniting efforts with female politicians, activists, and rights groups to work to monitor and evaluate “behaviour of the Shura Council which began to deviate from the correct track”.
“This council, which was elected by 6% of the population who have the right to vote… and a third of which was appointed by the president of the republic, has been entrusted with the power to legislate through an illegitimate constitution,” read the statement.
The group cited the Shura Council’s handling of the draft election law, its exclusion of women by removing the requirement to include one female candidate in the top half of party lists, and the Supreme Constitutional Court’s rejection of two drafted election laws.
The Women’s Parliament called for the postponement of any draft bills until the election of Egypt’s new lower house of parliament, claiming it would include a “fair representation of all political factions and society in Egypt”.
The organisation also called on the presidency and state to empower women in governmental decision making and stand against all forms of violence against women.
The Women’s Parliament was established last year under the call for higher levels of empowerment of women in governmental decisions and a democratic and civil state. It holds workshops for public officials on multiple levels addressing many topics including gender-related issues.
In April Shura Council members strongly condemned a United Nations declaration on violence against women. The council’s Committee on Human Rights warned that the declaration would leave Egypt vulnerable to abortion, gay marriage, and sexual freedom.