Egypt ‘moving backwards’ on female judges

Samir el-Badawi, head of the Administrative Prosecution, criticized what he described as "moving backwards" on the issue of the appointment of women as judges.

"Women have reached the highest ranks in the Administrative Prosecution, headed it twice, and become members of disciplinary councils of the State Council," he said in statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding "That means that they are part of the make-up of the very court which now denies them appointment."

El-Badawi criticized those who reject the appointment of female judges in the State Council, saying they should refer to the law instead of phrases such as "feminizing the judiciary"– which, according to him, only serves to diminish the prestige of the judiciary.

Prosecution offices should reserve places for females when filling vacancies, suggested el-Badawi. This, he said, should help women to climb the career ladder from its beginning and gain adequate experience as they move up.

If women are rejected as judges in the State Council, then they should at least be accepted in the legislation or advisory opinion departments of the council, he said.

Commenting on the argument that women tend to take a lot of time off for pregnancy and delivery, el-Badawi said, "This is definitely not going to happen en masse."

He added that only highly qualified candidates are accepted to the State Council, so competent female candidates would always be a valuable addition.

El-Badawi also criticized referral of the matter to the State Council’s General Assembly, saying the assembly did not have authority to decide on the issue.

Meanwhile, sources in the judiciary talked of a proposal to allocate a ten percent quota for women in judicial posts.

Those most adamantly opposed to the appointment of women in the judiciary are also the most likely candidates for successor to the current head of the State Council, the same sources said. They warned that appointments of female judges will therefore be firmly resisted.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Back to top button