The First Female Judge Will Preside Over A Hearing At Egypt’s Top Court – CR NEWS

State council member Radwa Helmi sits on a bench, signifying a “historic” step toward gender equality on the road to equity.

The First Female Judge Will Preside Over A Hearing At Egypt's Top Court
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Radwa Helmi is the first woman to sit on the bench of Egypt’s state council, which is one of the country’s top courts.

Helmi, who made her debut in a Cairo courtroom, was one of 98 women appointed last year to join the council, Egypt’s primary judicial body, after a decision by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

On March 5, the head of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsi declared that the fifth of March has become a “new historical day” for Egyptian women.

The change was made just days before International Women’s Day, which is on 8 March.

For years, Egyptian women have struggled to obtain their rights.

Even though there are hundreds of female lawyers in Egypt, it has taken decades for one to reach the top of the judicial ladder and become a judge.

The first was Tahany al-Gebaly, who was appointed to Egypt’s highest constitutional court in 2003.

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The First Female Judge Will Preside Over A Hearing At Egypt's Top Court

Globally spent a decade as minister of tourism before being relieved of duty in 2012 by Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist president who was then in power.

In Egypt, where the judiciary has long been all-male, no law prevents women from obtaining judicial positions.

The state council was formed in 1946 as an autonomous body that primarily resolves administrative and disciplinary issues.

Women have been underrepresented since Egypt’s formation as a modern nation in the nineteenth century.

Even though women gained the right to vote and seek public office in 1956, their rights have yet to be recognized.

With such authority frequently delegated to male guardians under sharia-inspired legislation, many mothers have little control over their children or personal lives.

Women currently occupy about a quarter of cabinet posts and about 168 seats in the 569-member parliament, which is roughly a fifth of overall membership.

The First Female Judge Will Preside Over A Hearing At Egypt's Top Court

In May 2021, Egypt’s highest Sunni institution, the grand imam of al-Azhar, weighed in on the issue.

Sheik Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of the Red Mosque, told the BBC that a religious edict does not prevent women from pursuing high-ranking jobs, traveling alone, or enjoying an equal share of inheritance rights.

He didn’t go as far as to argue that women should have the same rights as men.

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