Surprise! Women Being Excluded In Egypt

Who would have thought women would be relegated to the sidelines in Egypt, being made second class citizens, if you will, as the Islamists consolidate their power in?

(Washington Post) After Egyptian women stood shoulder to shoulder with men in the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak, many looked forward to a role in the revolution’s next steps. But 15 months later, as Egyptians prepare to vote for a new president this week, rights activists complain that women are being excluded from key decisions.

“At the time of the revolution, women were needed to fill out the numbers,” said Hoda Badran, head of the Egyptian Feminist Union, which was banned under Mubarak but reinstated last year. “Now, the decision-makers don’t need women, and we’re back to this idea that femininity is inferior and masculinity superior.”

Women hold just over 2 percent of the seats in Egypt’s new parliament, down from about 12 percent in the last elections held under Mubarak. The sharp decline followed the elimination of a quota to ensure women’s representation, which had been seen by many as a way to stack the body with members of Mubarak’s political party.

After Mubarak was deposed, the ruling military did not include them in the writing of new Constitutional amendments. And

Badran and other women’s rights activists are particularly worried that the well-organized Muslim Brotherhood will use its religious and charitable groups to encourage uneducated and poor women to vote for its candidate, Mohammed Morsi. Morsi opposes women being allowed to serve in the presidency. He has called for the implementation of Islamic law and, at campaign rallies, referred to Islam’s holy book, the Koran, as the constitution.

Islamists taking over, women being treated poorly – kinda what people said would happen. Egypt has some of the best protections for women of any Islamic country, but

But the Islamist-dominated parliament is discussing several proposals that could change women’s status here. They include lowering the legal age of marriage for girls from 18 to 13 and revoking divorced mothers’ custody of their boys at age 7 and girls at 9, rather than at 15, a move that would be in accordance with a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

It’s interesting to note that none of the usual suspects are making waves about this real war on women, much like they tend to ignore how women and gays are treated in Iran.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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