Women are being side-lined in times of political transition

Published on June 27, 2012

SRI statement on the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice’s first report to the Human Rights Council

Delivered by Dalia Abd El–Hameed, EIPR (Egypt)


Thank you Madam President

We would like to use this opportunity to welcome the report of the working group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice.

We specially welcome the working group’s attention to women in political and public life with a focus on political transition. We share with the WG the importance of monitoring women’s political participation in situation of transition and post transition periods.

Women’s participation in peaceful protests and opposition acts contribute hugely in bringing about democracy and change to their societies and states, but it is a common phenomenon that women are being side lined in transitional periods and excluded from leading positions and decision making posts. Moreover, sexual violence, gender based violence and women’s sexuality in general are being used to further hinder women’s participation in public life.

We encourage the working group to identify other challenges that face women in these situations like militarization, fundamentalism and other actors who might be opponents to women’s rights in shaping the present and the future of their countries.

We believe that identification of best practices is an important step to help countries to find constitutional and legal guarantees for women’s political participation, but we also ask the WG to identify previous resolutions in this concern and their efficiency and benefits of such resolutions in advancing women’s civil and political rights, such as Security Council resolution 1325.

Finally, concerning the engagement of stakeholders in the WG’s work, we highly recommend strong collaboration with civil society organizations as they can be alternative source of information especially on violations against women. We also encourage the WG to give an attentive eye to women’s political participation in the recent Arab spring and how Arab states can enhance women’s participation in post revolutionary times.

Thank you