A drawing made by activists to symbolize rejection to Article 36 of the draft constitution - (Source: Baheya Ya Masr)
A large number of groups staged a demonstration and held a press conference on Tuesday evening in protest against a proposed constitutional article that puts women's equality at risk.
The demonstration took place at 6 p.m. by the Shura Council (parliamentary upper house) where the constituent assembly, tasked with rewriting Egypt's constitution, convenes.
Participants fear that "Article 36" threatens women rights and conflicts with other articles of the long-awaited constitution.
The controversial draft clause suggests that the state will reinforce gender equality in all spheres but in accordance with the interpretations of Sharia (Islamic law).
Activists and rights groups fear that certain interpretations of Islamic texts may undermine women in one sphere or all, and thus oppose the proposed article.
The constitution-writing body is dominated by Islamists which some fear may attempt to mold Egypt's constitution to suit their purposes.
According to the Facebook page calling for the protest, supporters of the cause include:
Political parties: The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Popular Current, the Constitution Party, Egypt Party, the Justice Party, the Tagammou Party, the Nasserist Party and Freedom Party.
Unions and Fronts: The National Front for Defending Egyptian Women, the Alliance of Organizations, the Egyptian Feminist Union, the Feminist Voice, Baheya Ya Masr, Min Haii (It’s My Right), the Egyptian Woman, the Egyptian Women’s Movement for Change, You’re a Free Egyptian Woman, Speak Up Movement, the Coalition for Women of the Revolution, the Voice of the Nubian Woman, the Egyptian Women Lawyers for Steps Forward Movement, the Enlightened Egypt Movement, the Front for Defending Creativity and the We Can See You Movement.
Feminist and Legal Foundations: The New Woman Foundation, the Women and Memory Forum, the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, the Foundation for Egyptian Women Issues, the Association of Mothers for Legal Custody, the Alliance for Arab Women, the Legal Foundation for Family Assistance, the General Association for Women’s Associations for Health Promotion, the Solidarity Foundation for Funding Azhar, the Center for Communications for Development (ACT), the Women’s Parliament, the Life is Not Complete without the Ta (female pronoun) Movement, the Egyptian Democratic Institute, the Egyptian Democratic Association, the Center for Supporting the Law State, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, the National Initiative for Positive Involvement.
Public Figures: Dr. Mohamed Abul-Ghar, Dr. Hussam Eissa, Amr Mousa, Dr. Amr Hamzawi, Dr. Jalal Amin, Dr. Mohamed Nour Farhat, Dr. Abdel-Galeel Mostafa, Dr. Ziyad Bahaa El Din, Dr. Hazim El Beblawi, Mr. Ahmad El Ghandour, Dr. Abdel-Azeem Hammad, Dr. Sameer Murqos, Mr. Basem Kamel, Ms. Niam El Baz, Ms. Shuhra Ameen Elalam, Mr. Khalid Hal, Dr. Mouna Zulfikar, Dr. Essam Elislambouly, political activist George Ishac, Writer Gamal Fahmy, Writer Abdallah El Sinnawi, Writer Sakina Fouad, Director Khalid Youssef, Director Hala Khalil, Artist Fayrouz Karawya, Attorney Ameer Salim, Ms. Inas Mekkawi, Dr. Houda Badran, Dr. Fatma Khafaji, Ms. Niveen Ebeid, Ms. Amal AbdelHadi, Dr. Rajia Omran, Dr. Anisa Hassouna, Mr. Rami Shaath, Dr. Nadia Abdel Wahab, Mr. Ahmad Fawzi, Ms. Farida El Shoubashi, Mr. Farid Zahran, Ms. Amani El Khayyat, Dr. Hana AbulGhar, Mr. Yasser Rizk, Ms. Fadya Mougheeth, Ms. Shahinda Maklad, Ms. Nourelhouda Zaki, Ms. Nahed Eissa, Ms. Azza Balbaa, Ms. Kareema El Hefnawi, Ms. Souad Hammoudah, Ms. Safa El Sawi, Ms. Fatin Mohammad Ali, Ms. Shams El Atrubi, Attorney Hala Fouad Riyad, Dr. Manal Omar, Mr. Hussein AbdelGhani, Dr. Mouna Abul-Ghar, Dr. Nouhad Abul Qumsan, Ms. Mouna Moneer, Dr. Niveen Mousad, Ms. Buthaina Kamel, Writer Mohammad Salmawi, Dr. AbdulGhaffar Hanneish, Dr. Fawzi El Aryan, Mr. Alaa AbdulMonem, Mr. Mustafa El Guindi, Mr. Mohammad Youssif, Dr. Fathiyya El Assal, Ms. Samira Ebrahim, Ms. Samya Jaheen, Mr. Mohammad ElEjatty, Ms. Ghada Shahbandar, Shaheeda Al baz, Ne3m Al baz, Safaa Zaki Mourad, Ahmed Saied, Amr Al Shobaky and Emad Abo Ghazi.