#BreakTheBias: A Woman Judge Makes History For Presiding Over A Hearing At A Top Court In Egypt

by Duke Magazine

On Saturday, Radwa Helmi became Egypt’s first female judge to sit on the State Council, the country’s highest court. According to AFP

AFP, the State Council was established as an autonomous body in 1946 to resolve administrative disputes and disciplinary proceedings.

Until President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi nominated 98 female judges to the Supreme Judicial Council on October 3, 2021, the court had no female judges. At the State Council, Cairo, Justice Helmi has become the first person to sit on a court hearing.

He hailed President al-Sisi for his historic decision during a press conference, saying that it was “a crucial aspect of supporting every Egyptian lady,” according to jurist.org.

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In Egypt, which has a mainly Muslim population, there is currently no regulation prohibiting women from serving as judges; yet, the judiciary has historically been controlled by men. Even though Egypt has a large number of female lawyers, a female judge has just lately been appointed in the country.

It was in 2003 when Tahany el-Gebaly became Egypt’s first female judge when she was appointed to the Constitutional Tribunal of Egypt. Globally served in that position for a decade before being ousted in 2012 by the Islamist president of Egypt at the time.

In Egypt, women have always felt excluded and alone. After several Egyptian constitutions have granted women some socioeconomic and political rights, true equality remains elusive.

About a quarter of Egypt’s cabinet roles and 168 seats in its 569-member parliament are currently held by women, according to the AFP. Most women have no control over their own lives or their children. Islamic Sharia-inspired law assigns that responsibility to men, according to AFP’s report.

Maya Morsi, the chairwoman of the National Council for Women (NCW), was quoted by the AFP as saying that the 5th of March has become “a new historical day for Egyptian women.”

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