Egypt Gender Ratio and Relationship
The Geneva World Economic Forum annually assesses the progress made towards equality for women in the “Gender Gap Index”.
Out of 149 countries examined, Egypt ranks 139th (Global Gender Gap Report 2020).
Gender relationship in law
The constitution, which was valid from 1971 until the revolution, basically granted women the same civil rights and equal legal treatment. In addition, Egypt ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as early as 1981, albeit with reservations based on Sharia law. These reservations exist primarily with regard to family and civil status law, which is the only legal area based entirely on religious law and which is regulated for the various denominations according to their own religion. If the parties involved in a family dispute belong to different denominations, Islamic law is applied
The new constitution, which was adopted in a controversial referendum in December 2012, binds women’s rights even more closely than the old constitution to Islamic Sharia law, which allows for many different interpretations and carries the risk of discrimination with religious legitimation. The new constitution emphasizes the reproductive roles of women in the family. Articles that contain protective mechanisms against trafficking in women and violence are formulated more weakly than in the old constitution. The new constitution gives the state the responsibility for guaranteeing women’s rights, but contrary to the demands of women’s and human rights organizations, it does not contain any guidelines on how this should be done. A number of civil society organizations issued critical statements on the Constitution, which also contain a criticism of the formulation of women’s rights in the constitution. According to mathgeneral, an article by SPIEGEL-Online on the laws to protect women, reports on women’s rights in Egypt.
In the years before the revolution, a number of improvements had been made in favor of women. The most important of these concern the right of women to pass on their citizenship to their children and to be able to divorce now even against the will of the man and without evidence of serious breach of his duties. This newly introduced so-called khula ‘Divorce, however, presupposes that the woman returns all material gifts from the man and waives the financial benefits to which she is entitled if the man divorces her or if she divorces after often years of legal proceedings on the basis of evidence of non-performance of the obligations of the Man obtained. For Christians, divorce law has de facto been tightened in recent years. You can only get divorced in the case of adultery, which is difficult to prove. Until recently, Christians who wanted to get divorced often sought the way out of converting to another Christian denomination or to Islam in order to obtain a divorce, as Sharia law is applied in both cases. An agreement by the Christian churches to no longer allow such conversions, however, limited this possibility to conversion to Islam. The leadership of the Coptic Church also vehemently opposed the possibility of divorced people remarrying, which was initially approved by a court in 2010. This led to a number of Demonstrations by Copts, supported by Muslims, demanding the introduction of civil marriage in Egypt.
With the reform of family law in 2000 custody of women was also improved. The children can now stay with their mother until they are 15 and, if they wish, until they get married, but only if the mother does not remarry. However, there is still discrimination in inheritance law, which basically allows Muslim men twice as high a share as women. However, the religious and historical rationale that men are responsible for the maintenance of their female relatives contradicts today’s reality, where 33% of all Egyptian families are supported by women, 2.5 million marriages have been divorced and 24% of all divorced have their children alone raise them without assistance. Even in the case of adultery, women are punished more severely than men and have to meet more requirements. to prove adultery. Further problems in Egyptian law exist in relation to the lack of protective provisions for women in the event of domestic violence and the “sale” of young women to rich Gulf Arabs as part of a “summer marriage”. Detailed information on women in Egyptian law is in one Shadow report for the CEDAW commission.
In the opinion of the critics, the new constitution opens many doors to abolish these rights for women that have been achieved in recent years and to deprive women of many of their rights. After their success in parliamentary elections, a number of Islamist members of parliament had a number of legislative proposals that would have worsened the protection and legal status of women, including lowering the age at marriage for girls to 12 years, making divorce at the initiative of women more difficult and abolishing the ban on female genital cutting. However, none of these initiatives were passed into law. The vague wording in the new constitution and the strong link between women’s rights and the Islamic Sharia increase the possibilities for future legislative initiatives to restrict women’s rights.
Age structure and life expectancy
0-14 years: 33.21% (male 16,268,862 / female 15,169,039)
15-24 years: 19.24% (male 9,371,819 / female 8,839,999)
25-54 years: 37.47% (male 18,020,332 / female 17,448,871)
55- 64 years: 5.91% (male 2,771,399 / female 2,826,094)
65 years and older: 4.17% (male 1,937,119 / female 2,013,459) (estimated 2016)
Life expectancy at birth men: 71.6 years (CIA World Factbook, 2017)
Life expectancy at birth women: 74.4 years (CIA World Factbook, 2017)
Population <15 years: 31%
Population <64 years: 4%