Egyptian Center for Women Rights Report

Cairo 15th of March 2016

On the 16th of March, which is a significant date for the Egyptian woman, the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights launches its annual Women’s Status Report for 2015 with the title “Steps Backward: Parliamentary Representation is not enough”.

The report asserts that women’s status has witnessed a slight improvement on the political rights, while experiencing a decline in economic and social rights as well as the increase of violence against women.

On the 16th of March, there was the first female martyr in an Egyptian revolution against colonization in 1919, where for the first time Egyptian women were side to side by men. This date marks an ongoing struggle for women.

Meanwhile, this day has become a day to review the obligation and efforts by the state bodies to counter the various challenges facing women and the accomplishments in the light of Egypt’s international commitments related to women most importantly the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

2015 has witnessed 89 female MPs in the Egyptian parliament; 75 elected and 14 appointed out of a total of 596 MPs, representing 14.7%/. Hence, the 2015 Egyptian Parliament has the largest representation for women in Egypt’s parliamentary history.

Yet, Egyptian women generally suffer from a decline in almost all aspects as Egypt comes among the 10 worst countries in gender equality according to the Global Gender Gap report 2015 published by the World Economic Forum. This is a dangerous and alarming indicator.

Egypt’s status has declined since 2014, as it ranked the 136th out of 142 countries in gender equality in 2015, while it ranked the 129th out of 142 countries according to the Global Gender Gap index in 2014.

According to the Human Development report for 2015, which is published by the UNDP, Egypt ranks the 108th out of 188 countries worldwide. In 2014, Egypt ranked the 110th out of 187 countries, which is slight progress.

On women’s political empowerment threshold, Egypt declined from the 134th rank in 2014 to 136th in 2015 according to the Global Gender Gap index. Regarding women in ministerial position, there is a slight improvement as Egypt ranked the 101st in 2015 after it was the 116th in 2014.

Yet, it is expected that the political empowerment index will witness improvement given the record number of 89 MPs in the end of 2015.

On the economic threshold, there is an evident decline in access to opportunities and economic participation as Egypt ranked the 135th out of 145 countries, and it ranked the 139th out of 145 countries in women’s participation in labour force according to the Global Gender Gap index 2015. On the other hand, in 2014, Egypt ranked the 129th out of 142 countries in access to opportunities and economic participation and it ranked the 136th out of 142 countries in women’s participation in labour force.

This report is the result of the monitoring of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights of Women’s status. It addresses indicators of improvements and deteriorations on the local and international level. ECWR submits its annual report to decision makers to make a difference in women’s status.

The progress of Egyptian women and promoting their rights is critical for Egypt’s development.

ECWR’s Women Status Report addresses the developments in Egyptian women’s status in a number of areas in 2015. The report is divided to 4 main sections tackling women’s status in various public domains. These sections are as the following:

Firstly: Political and Civil Rights
This section tackles women’s role in 4 central domains: Parliamentary elections, Parliament, leadership positions, and freedom of expression.

Secondly: Economic and Social Rights
This section examines the most important developments in 4 main areas which are the labour market, health, education and sports.

Thirdly: violence against women
This section tackles the developments of epidemic of violence against women.

Fourthly and lastly: Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) efforts
This section discusses ECWR efforts throughout the year in its framework of protecting women’s rights and promoting women’s empowerment.