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Egypt draft constitution raises concern over women's rights

October 6, 2012 03:37

The most recent draft of Egypt's constitution limits women's rights to those compatible with the “rules” of Islamic jurisprudence, or Fiqh, Egypt Independent reported Friday.

According to the newspaper, Article 36 of the proposed constitution reads: “The state is committed to taking all constitutional and executive measures to ensure equality of women with men in all walks of political, cultural, economic and social life, without violation of the rules of Islamic jurisprudence....”

Fiqh, an Arabic term meaning "deep understanding" or "full comprehension,"  is an expansion of Islamic Sharia law implemented in accordance with the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists.

There have been widespread calls for Egypt's non-Islamic political parties to boycott the Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting the constitution, due to the dominance of Islamists within the body.

Rights activist Manal al-Tiby withdrew from the assembly last week after an article setting a minimum age for women to get married and criminalizing trafficking of female minors was canceled, according to Egypt Independent.

Only seven women were appointed to the 100-member Constituent Assembly.

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