Today, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) demanded the Egyptian state to take the necessary measures to expedite the ratification of the African Protocol on Women’s Rights (the Maputo Protocol 2003) emanating from the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 1981.
The Maputo Protocol consists of 32 articles about the protection of women’s rights in various fields, such as: the right to participate in the political process, social and political equality with men, and improving independence in reproductive health decisions. The protocol entered into force in November 2005, signed by 52 African countries (except Egypt and Botswana), and only 40 countries have ratified it.
In addition to the above, Egyptian women’s rights have recently enjoyed many progresses on the political, economic, social and cultural levels thanks to the articles of the Egyptian Constitution and Egypt’s commitment to international conventions on women’s rights, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The Egyptian Constitution of 2014 pays special attention to women’s rights. The preamble referred to women, stating: “We are writing a constitution that achieves clear equality in rights and duties without discrimination,” as it also stated, “We are citizens and citizens…” in reference to the Egyptian people who expresses their will and lays down their constitution. The constitution also devoted more than twenty texts to the statement of women’s rights, contained in the first and second chapters of it, concerning the state and the basic components of society, emphasizing that women are not just a category of society, but rather are half of it and contribute to the well-being of the other half, and are the basis of the family, and that in reference to its effective role and strong participation in building the Egyptian state and society.
FDHRD praises the Egyptian leadership in the African continent, as Egypt has ratified 20 agreements within the framework of the African Union, 16 of which have entered into force and 2 temporarily into force, in addition to the statute of the International Law Commission of the African Union, which entered into force immediately after its adoption by the Addis Ababa Summit in February 2009.
Egypt has also signed 6 agreements: the African Youth Charter, the African Agreement for the Establishment of a Technical Cooperation Program, the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, the African Treaty for the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Marrakech Blind Treaty), the Agreement Establishing the African Rehabilitation Institute, a Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“Egypt’s ratification of the Maputo Protocol enhances its African affiliation, given that Egypt takes into account the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 at the local level with the Sustainable Development Goals at the African level 2063, among which is the empowerment of women at the continental level. CEO and Co-Founder of the FDHRD, Saeed Abdel Hafez Darwish, stated.
Abdel Hafez added that “the level of Egypt’s performance in implementing the African agenda rose to 45% in 2021 after it was 19% in 2019. Therefore, the Egyptian ratification of the protocol may contribute to raising Egypt’s level in implementing the African agenda to more than 60% until 2025.”