By Nourhan Dakroury
The Presidency’s Initiative to support Egyptian women’s rights and freedoms organised a workshop on Tuesday under the patronage of President Mohamed Morsi to discuss women’s political rights.
Presidential Advisor Pakinam Al-Sharkawy said on Tuesday in a statement to state-owned Al-Ahram that such workshops will help form legislation concerning women’s rights in Egypt.
She added that these will be soon discussed by the House of Representatives, which she expects will be elected in a few months from now.
Al-Sharkawy said that the presidency is aiming at bettering women’s political and social life in Egypt, and rejected what many have described as a “deteriorating” status for women.
Morsi had announced the launch of the initiative on 24 March, which he said would aim at expanding women’s role and support their rights.
Since then, the initiative has been criticised by human rights and political groups, including Foada Watch, a woman’s rights watchdog campaign, which described the initiative as “empty and flimsy”.
Fatma Khafagy, National Council for Women (NCW) member, also criticised the initiative saying: “The initiative was [launched] for a political purpose.”
Khafagy said that the presidency is trying to infiltrate the NCW, adding that the council “hasn’t been influenced by Muslim Brotherhood ideologies yet”.
The NCW and the National Salvation Front’s women’s rights committee had announced in March that they will boycott the initiative. Head of NCW Mervat Tallawy did not attend the inauguration.