A coalition of groups advocating for women’s rights said Monday it is necessary to include women in the upcoming governor reshuffle after a minister said women would only be appointed as “deputies and assistants”.
Minister of State for Local Development Adel Labib was cited as saying that women would not be included in the governor reshuffle expected to be announced next month. He added women would be given deputy and assistant roles in order to be trained and become qualified with more experience.
Lamia Mohamedein, who heads the media department in the ministry, said the minister’s remarks had been “taken out of context”. She said the minister had said that women would only not be part of this particular upcoming reshuffle. “It is not a rule,” she added.
However, a coalition of 16 groups including Nazra for Feminist Studies, the Women and Memory Forum and Al-Dostour Party, the first political party in Egypt headed by a woman, condemned Labib’s remarks in a statement.
The coalition said the failure to appoint women as governors is considered “unfair because there are many women with extensive experience in the fields of local development and community service.”
The groups said it is important to activate the role of women in local development by appointing them as governors, which will promote the presence of women in decision-making positions at the local level and will contribute to making local development programmes more inclusive of the priorities and needs of women.
The coalition called on the minister to include women in the governor reshuffle and achieve the principles of the 2014 constitution. “Political participation and empowerment of women… must expand to include all state institutions,” the groups said.