Egypt: In celebration of Egyptian women's day on 16 March

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
ECWR will organize a celebration of Egyptian Women's Day on March 16 during which the first martyrdom of a female candidate will be recognized and freedoms in Egypt will be promoted. The celebration is entitled, " New year ….. New Hope."
The celebration will be held on Thursday March 16, 2006, in the Student's Union, El Agoza, in front of the National Circus from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. There will be an exhibition for NGOs including books, posters, handicrafts and many other activities.
ECWR will discuss the following topics:
  • The suggestion to amend the Egyptian laws concerning elections.
  • Ensure just representation of women.
  • Increasing women's numbers in the parliament and local councils.
  • The importance of the role of women’s participation in development at all social, economic, and political levels, because this is considered the basis of the democratic process and one of the fundamental aspects of participation by citizens in democracy.
These issues will be discussed within the frame of the democratic transition that has been occurring in Egypt, which has been documented through the monitoring of different efforts initiated several years ago by social organizations promoting and supporting women's rights and encouraging women’s participation in public life to counter the relative weakness of women’s political participation and political marginalization. This is evidenced by the very low level of women’s participation in the Egyptian parliament in 2005 where women comprised only 2.4% of representatives, and comprised 6% of those appointed to the assembly council, and 1.2% of the members elected to the local council. This is considered a significant challenge to those who are concerned with the political empowerment of women.

This leads us to review and discuss women’s marginalization, to address the crisis of political participation and to encourage both women and men to work together to support each other in the near and long terms, to create a suitable environment for increasing women's participation in all aspects of political life, to influence the decisions of the different legislative and executive bodies, and to recognize the importance of the role of political parties and their duties to extend the circle of political participation and women's rights in nominating, voting, representing, and participating in untraditional political activities.

The celebration of Egyptian Women's Day on March 16, 2006 as part of ECWR’s Legal Reform for Women Program aims to:
  • Influence positive change to the election law to create more justice for women.
  • Increase women's participation in the parliament and local councils.
The celebration will address the following topics:
  • the suggestion to amend the Egyptian Election Law and ensure just representation for women.
  • the women's status in the Egyptian Human Development Report 2005.
  • how to prepare a number of potential women candidates and help them develop a political vision and respond to the political reality and reform initiatives.