Parliament’s Greatest Achievement Supports Rights of Female-Headed Households

Parliament’s Greatest Achievement Supports Rights of Female-Headed Households

About 6-7 million people will benefit from the law of female-headed households adopted by parliament on Saturday. The People’s Assembly (Egypt’s lower house of parliament) gave the Law on female-headed households its final approval – in a session held on Saturday, chaired by Dr. Saad Katatni, Assembly Speaker.

The Assembly introduced a new "Article 9", which provides that the State pays the difference of cost not covered by health insurance for women-headed households, for treatments such as liver transplants and chronic diseases.

For the purposes of the new law, according to the Assembly, the definition of female-headed households is: any female who takes care of a family, has no source of income or her income does not exceed one and half times the value of social security pension, and is uninsured.

Medical treatment and healthcare services are provided for women-headed households through the General Authority for Health Insurance for an annual subscription of which women would only pay a small percentage, while the State bears the bulk of it.

Such annual contributions or subscriptions for women-headed households amount to 12 Egyptian Pounds (two US Dollars) per annum as a minimum, or 1% of their income. Meanwhile, the State’s Public Treasury is to pay two hundred pounds a year for every female-breadwinner.

Financing this system will rely on annual contributions and subscriptions paid by the women and the Public Treasury, as well as subsidies, donations and grants.

Seven Million Beneficiaries

In a statement to Ikhwanweb, Dr. Amani Abou El-Fadl, member of the International Islamic Committee for Woman & Child (IICWC), said that “For parliamentarians to think of and pass this bill has revealed a mentality that sides with women completely.

“This law will benefit 6 to 7 million people, a large segment of society including divorced women, widows and wives of disabled men, as well as women abandoned by their husbands. The law covers the women and their children.”

She further explained that the defunct former regime of the deposed Mubarak never addressed those issues seriously. “We hail the current parliament for being the first to take notice of this important issue with prompt action on the ground, away from the rhetoric and propaganda that previous parliaments used before”, she added.