Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. And until recently, was exclusively male-run.
In Cairo on the morning of October 19, 98 women were sworn in before the council’s chief judge Mohammed Hossam el-Din as the first female judges in the nation to join the State Council.
The swearing-in follows President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s request, which was made in March, for women to join the State Council and the Public Prosecution. This decision was cause for celebration for many women’s rights activists, including Egypt’s National Council for Women, who said that the president’s position is symbolic of a political will to further empower Egyptian women.
Prior to this change, the council had rejected women’s applications time and time again.
“This is a memorable day. It is a dream for us and for past generations as well,” said one of the newly sworn-in justices Radwa Helmy. “Being a woman in one of the chief judiciary institutions in Egypt and the Arab world as a dream.”
Source image: AP/Tarek Wajeh