Egyptian Woman Denied Judgeship, Still Fighting

Although her superiors admit that she is qualified to be a judge in Egypt’s judiciary, Fatima Lashin is still not permitted to serve on the bench after ten years of struggle, debate and publicity.

“I belong to a country where my greatest grandmothers used to be queens and priests 5,000 years ago. But I can’t be a judge now. What an irony!” Lashin said in an interview.

Lashin asked that Egypt update its laws to provide for equal rights to men and women as many other Muslim nations such as Tunisia, Iraq, and Syria have done. Despite her efforts, the Ministry of Justice held that Islam still does not permit the appointment of a female judge. A passage from the Koran quoted by some conservative opponents says that two women testimonies in court is equal to that of one man, and therefore a woman cannot be a judge if she cannot be a witness by herself.


AP - July 14, 1998

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