Sameh Kamal, former head of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, said that there is no legislative provision prohibiting the appointment of women to judicial positions.
He continued saying that, to the contrary, article 11 of the Egyptian Constitution recognises the rights of women to be appointed to judicial roles.
Additionally, he pointed out that the Administrative Prosecution Authority was the first to appoint women to judicial posts and a large number of its members in leadership positions were women.
His remarks came on the sidelines of the Female Judges in the Arab World conference that was held on Monday, and within the framework of the conference came the project for “supporting women leaders,” aimed at empowering women to enter judicial roles through activating article 11 of the constitution.
For her part, Hoda Badran, president of the Egyptian Feminist Union, said that there are solid international and Arab experiences of women accessing the judiciary, while Egypt continues to prevent women from serving in judicial posts.
Nadia Henry, member of Egyptian House of Representatives, who proposed a bill to the government requesting that the state appoint women in judiciary posts. She said that the bill is a translation of the articles of the constitution that provide equality between citizens and reject discrimination. She also stressed the need to respect the principle of equality of opportunity.
Meanwhile, Adly Hussein, a legal counsellor, dealt with the relationship between women in judicial positions and how 32 judges were appointed, headed by the former vice president of the Constitutional Court of Egypt, Tahani al-Gebali. However, the number of female judges today is only 67 judges, he said, requesting that the state appoint women to judiciary and prosecution posts.
For her part, Ghada Mousa, adviser to the minister of planning, said that the history of Egypt is full of successful women, and that society has a variety of competent women to employ and benefit from, and that society will benefit from the appointment of women in the judiciary.
She stressed that women’s access to the judicial system is not only an achievement of justice and equality, but also a benefit to the whole of society.
Finally, the conference declared some recommendations, including calling on the president to issue republican decisions for appointing women in judicial bodies if women remain unable to access the application process for entering the judiciary.
The conference recommended that the speaker of the House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal, be quick to pass legislation explicitly stating that women should be appointed to judicial posts.
In March 2014, Omnia Gadallah, a 2013 graduate from the Faculty of Law at Al-Azhar University, filed a case to the Supreme Administrative Court challenging the State Council’s decision of refusing to receive applications from female graduates. The case is ongoing.