Various political and rights movements have praised the election of Hala Shukrallah as chairman of Al-Dostour Party, making her the first elected Coptic woman to lead an Egyptian political party.
During its first general assembly held on Friday, Al-Dostour Party elected political education officer Shukrallah as its new head.
Both Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby (Popular Current) movement and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party congratulated Al-Dostour Party on the success of their internal elections and the victory of Shukrallah. In a statement released on Saturday, Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby described Al-Dostour Party as “one of the most effective actors in political life”, hoping that cooperation between the party and other movements which support the revolution would create a line of defence to safeguard “revolutionary gains”.
“The party members’ trust in Shukrallah … confirms the Egyptian woman’s ability to play leading roles in building this nation’s future,” the movement’s statement read, pointing out that women were at the “revolutionary frontlines”.
The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR) described Shukrallah’s win as a “positive step toward democratic transition and toward achieving women’s political rights.” In a statement released on Sunday, the centre stated that since meetings with decision-makers in Egypt are usually exclusively attended by party heads, Shukrallah’s win would open the door for dealing with women as an “essential partner” in the nation.
Shurkrallah’s win was also welcomed by women’s rights group Fouada Watch in a statement on Sunday. The group described the decision as “indication” of Egyptian women’s ability to hold different positions.
Fouada Watch said Shukrallah’s election is a “practical implementation” of principles and slogans adopted by Al-Dostour Party. It called on other modern parties to provide “sound evidence” enhancing the slogans they promote through awarding women leading roles within the parties.
Hala Shukralla brought in 108 votes, according to official results, and Gameela Ismael, the party’s former organisation secretary, attained 56.
The party also named founder and former chairman Mohamed ElBaradei permanent honourary head. ElBaradei resigned his position as head of Al-Dostour Party in 2013 when he held an executive position as vice president for foreign affairs in July 2013. He resigned from that position on 14 August to protest the forcible dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda sit-ins.