Huda Ghaneya: Persistent Media Campaigns Spread Rumors about Status of Women in New Charter

Huda Ghaneya: Persistent Media Campaigns Spread Rumors about Status of Women in New Charter

Dr. Huda Ghaneya, member of the Constituent Assembly (CA) entrusted with drafting the new Constitution, stressed that there are misinformation media campaigns and false fabrications published and aired on some satellite TV channels and dubious newspapers about the laws pertaining to Egyptian women in the draft constitution, "their goal is to confuse viewers and readers, and make them detest and despise the whole Constitution issue and its drafting process".

In a press statement, Dr. Ghaneya said that Article 68 of the draft constitution, which calls for equality between men and women within the boundaries of Islamic law, is found in the Constitution of 1971, "The only objection protesters voiced is that the text curtails women’s rights; but the real meaning is indeed equality in rights and freedoms for men and women alike".

She added that some want to add another article in the Constitution about "equality", based on the principle of partnership within the Egyptian family, allocating roles for men and others for women.

"Why add such an article when we know well that there are duties and rights for women and men, and that Islam is the guarantor of all rights of the family?"

Moreover, Ghaneya pointed that the issue of setting the minimum age of marriage to nine years was not mentioned or discussed at all in the CA, "it is a sinister rumor, and an utter lie – a part of the systematic campaign of slander and subversion waged by the media. The draft constitution is now in the hands of all who wish to read it. If the age of marriage is mentioned anywhere, let them show us just where it is!"

She further emphasized that talk about criminalization of slavery and human trafficking and sex-trades is redundant, since constitutional articles are meant for the legislator.

"This means that legislatures set out to make laws according to constitutional texts and provisions. Human trafficking, sex slavery as well as illegal drug trade and the like, are not mentioned specifically in the Constitution because law 64 – 2010 of the Penal Code regulates these clearly. If need be, punishment could be made harsher.

"So why insist on adding such an article to the Constitution of 2012, if the issues in question are already regulated by existing laws?"