Wednesday,22 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)
Wednesday,22 November, 2017
Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Women’s issues get top support

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has met the newly elected head of the National Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsi along with its members, reports Reem Leila. At the beginning of the 28 March meeting, Al-Sisi congratulated the council’s members on the new changes, wishing them continued success. He also praised the efforts of the former NCW head Mervat Al-Tellawi during her three-year tenure.

During the meeting Al-Sisi underlined the importance of the role of women in both the national and humanitarian arena and praised the effectiveness of the council’s role in solving a number of thorny issues in society, including female genital mutilation, female illiteracy and personal status issues.
Al-Sisi confirmed his full support and the government’s backup of the NCW and its issues. “Egypt, in its new era, looks at women from a different perspective and supports their national role, as they have proven their worthiness and patriotism during the harsh times the country has passed through,” Al-Sisi said.
The president praised the political participation of women and their “fruitful” social contributions.

“I am sure that Egyptian women will continue their participation in national, regional and international forums in order to uphold the status of their home country,” he said.
Presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said Morsi expressed her appreciation of the president’s efforts towards upholding the status of women in society since taking office. She briefed Al-Sisi on the efforts exerted by the council to enhance the status of women.
“The council is currently working on issuing IDs to over five million women in order to be included in social solidarity projects, in addition to contacting about two million women annually to raise awareness about their political, social, legal and financial rights,” Morsi said.
Morsi also underlined the importance of increasing legal consultancy bureaus across Egypt, saying that a large number of cases in courts belong in family court.

Youssef said participants at the meeting shed light on the importance of the media in raising awareness among citizens. They also stressed the important role of NGOs in the development of societies, saying the government should monitor the funds of these organisations “to avoid any undesirable goals”, and to funnel the funds into key sectors.


Anchorwoman in trouble again

A HOST on state-run Egyptian TV has been referred to administrative prosecution after she criticised President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi on air.

Azza Al-Hennawi and the crew of her weekly show Cairo News (Akhbar Al-Qahera) on Channel Three “committed serious professional violations”, Essam Al-Amir, head of the state-run Egyptian Radio and TV Union (ERTU), said.

Al-Hennawi was suspended on 10 March after the anchorwoman directed harsh criticism at Al-Sisi’s performance since he took office with regards to improving the country and solving its problems.

Prior to her referral, Al-Hennawi was questioned by the ERTU’s Central Legal Affairs Department for six hours on 10 March. Following the investigation, Al-Amir dismissed Al-Hennawi from her position.

In November 2015, Al-Hennawi was suspended for criticising Al-Sisi and the cabinet following the Alexandria and Beheira floods.

Al-Hennawi was suspended in that incident because, according to Al-Amir, “she did not follow the script and gave her personal opinion on the show”.

In a four-minute video of the November show which was circulated on social media, Al-Hennawi argued that Al-Sisi and his government had not made adequate plans or created real programmes to solve the country’s problems, including the floods which ravaged the coastal cities last year. She raised the idea of issuing new accountability laws to monitor whether government officials had kept their promises.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression called on ERTU to allow Al-Hennawi to have access to all investigation documents related to her November suspension as well as to allow her to enter ERTU premises.

According to an ANHRI statement issued on 19 November, Al-Hennawi’s lawyer was denied entry during her questioning and she was not allowed to have a copy of the interrogation, which is against the law. Al-Hennawi was also not allowed to enter ERTU headquarters on 18 November and was blocked by security personnel following orders from the ERTU head.

Al-Hennawi was previously suspended under toppled president Hosni Mubarak after she directed a question at Shura Council speaker at the time Safwat Al-Sherif.


Environment defender passes away

INTERNATIONAL environmental expert Mustafa Kamal Tolba died Monday morning 28 March in Geneva, Switzerland, after a long battle with illness at the age of 94. His wife and daughter were with him in his final days.

Tolba was a towering figure in the environmental field. He was Egypt’s first delegate to the environment conference held in Stockholm that formed the basis for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Most recently he served as president of the Arab Forum on Environment and Development, and he had previously held several posts in environmental associations. A giant among environmental experts in the Arab region, he was also a professor in the Faculty of Sciences at Cairo University.

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