U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

To Object or Not to Object: The Question of Women Judges in Egypt

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2003 Pages: 69-83
Nawal H. Ammar
Mahesh K. Nalla
Date Published
15 pages
This paper addresses the argument in Egypt on whether women should become judges and their competency in carrying out judicial tasks as well as men and the impact of the theological vision of the female gender role.
For over a quarter century, feminist scholars have examined social and political factors contributing to gender imbalances in the judiciary. This paper specifically examines the country of Egypt where women have not been permitted to enter the judiciary. The issue in Egypt is not whether women judges are more or less likely to make certain rulings, but rather when they will be able to access the judiciary and make rulings. This paper discusses the theological influence on the resistance to female judges in Egypt. This resulted in women’s participation in the judiciary becoming a religious argument first and foremost and not an issue of inclusion or human rights. Because of this, the main body of this paper is on the extent, influence, and implications of prevailing theological debates about the inclusion of women in the judiciary, specifically women as judges. Egyptian society in the past 30 years has been affected by the political form of Islam known as Islamization, which seeks to return the society to its “good and pious” history and away from corrupt modern influences. This process of Islamization has in many ways negatively influenced the legal status of women. Unless a new understanding about the contemporary framework of Islamization is reached, Egyptians arguing for women’s access to the judiciary will have few allies. It is recommended that further examination be conducted on the theological influences on the Egyptian debate regarding women’s access to the judiciary. References


No download available