By Nourhan Dakroury
The Freedom and Justice Party criticised the National Women’s Council (NCW) for their position on the UN’s declaration on the status of women during Tuesday’s Shura Council session.
“Mervat Tallawy, head of the NCW, attended the session to discuss the budget,” said Abeer Abou Al-Ela, NCW media coordinator.
Members of the council criticised some of the NCW’s trainers who had openly expressed their political views in a training session in Damietta recently.
Tallawy said that trainers and lecturers are not chosen according to their political beliefs, adding that in the future the NCW will have their trainers sign an agreement confining them to commit exclusively to their training courses, without tackling politics, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.
Essam Al-Erian, head of the FJP’s parliamentary committee, criticised the NCW’s position concerning the UN declaration, which was signed on 15 March.
Islamist political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, had opposed the declaration, claiming that it promoted homosexuality and abortion.
Al-Erian said that the NCW should have issued a statement condemning same-sex marriage.
“Why would we condemn something like this [concerning the Western culture], when Islamists themselves are asking the world to not impose on their views?” said Fatma Khafagi, an NCW member who was among the Egyptian delegation which attended the UN commission. She added that the current Egyptian government was pressuring other Muslim and Arab countries to withdraw their consent on the document.
Khafagi stressed that the declaration discussed all sorts of violence against women.
“Islam talks about women’s rights, but they are not implemented [in Egypt],”she added.
Khafagi said that since the Muslim Brotherhood’s entrance to power, there have been repeated efforts to turn women into second-class citizens and to strip them of their rights.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil had asked Tallawy to come up with a draft law concerning violence against women, according to Khafagi.
She said that Tallawy submitted the draft law in March, but it has not been discussed by the Shura Council so far.