Marking a historic step, 98 Egyptian female judges will sit on the State Council’s podium for the very first time today, 3 March, after taking an oath on Thursday, 3 March.
The oath ceremony began inside the council’s Great Hall, and the judges were received by the President of the Council and members of the Special Council – the highest administrative authority in the State Council.
In a statement, Egypt’s National Council for Women stated that this is a “new historic day in the life of the Egyptian woman”.
At the ceremony, President of the National Council of Women, Maya Morsi, paid tribute to Aisha Rateb, Egyptian lawyer, politician, and Egypt’s first female ambassador, and who struggled for women’s right to representation in the judiciary.
“Today your granddaughters are reaping the fruits of your struggle, so may your soul rest in peace, rest assured that your struggle has not been in vain,” she said.
In 1949, Rateb applied to become a judge and was rejected because of her gender. The prime minister of the time, Hussein Serry Pasha, argued that a woman judge was “against the traditions of society”. In response, Rateb filed a lawsuit against the government for violating her constitutional rights.
Egyptian women have continued to face discrimination in the judiciary for years, which led to the rise of prominent initiatives such as Her Honor Setting The Bar Initiative to combat the discriminatory act and support other graduates who were banned from applying to the judiciary to pursue legal, judicial, and societal lobbying channels.
In October 2021, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced the appointment of 98 women to positions on the State Council.