Dr. Huda Ghaniya, member of the Constituent Assembly (CA)’s Basic Components Committee and member of the People’s Assembly (Egyptian lower house of Parliament), criticized calls by some leftists and liberal activists for quotas in the CA, demanding representation of women at 50% of the CA’s membership.
She stressed that those demands are unacceptable now, since no-one should stipulate specific shares in elected bodies, or quotas in the Cabinet or the CA.
Ghaniya pointed that Articles on equality and non-discrimination in the new Constitution are sufficient to safeguard women's rights, preserving their right to participate in public work.
"That definitely is incompatible with the idea of quotas and discrimination of minority and women, which is an insult to women. The societal culture and women’s endeavors are the main factors that should impact women’s presence on the political scene."
The CA member expressed her profound amazement at the formal complaints lodged by the National Front for Women of Egypt against the CA for a perceived lack of representation of women in the CA.
"The current representation of women in the CA is very balanced, comprising women from the full ideological, political and social spectra in Egypt."
Ghaniya further affirmed that calls for discrimination on the basis of sex, color or age have become unacceptable to Egyptians, adding that the initial draft of the Constitution has laid the foundations for combatting discrimination by stating that all Egyptians are equal in rights and duties.
"Accusations made by some leftists and liberal activists against the President, claiming he is marginalizing and excluding women, are totally unfounded.
"Islamists are the ones who adhered to providing for equal rights and duties. Women refused discrimination. This makes the Egyptian woman a first-class citizen who enjoys the right of thought and creativity, like all citizens. Thus, there is no need for women to stipulate a certain quota. More importantly, they should be strongly active, present and positive in public, charitable and social work."