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Gender & SSR in Egypt: Needs and Challenges Eman Ragab Senior Researcher, Security & Strategic Studies Unit Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender & SSR in Egypt: Needs and Challenges Eman Ragab Senior Researcher, Security & Strategic Studies Unit Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender & SSR in Egypt: Needs and Challenges Eman Ragab Senior Researcher, Security & Strategic Studies Unit Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies ACPSS Cairo-Egypt

2 Why SSR in Egypt? Presentation focuses on police institution. Definition adopted by Gender perspective is: Full and equal representation of women in security apparatuses. Find lasting solutions to the security challenges women are confronted with. Responsiveness to gender security issues (women rape, sexual harassment) Remarks

3 Why SSR in Egypt? Why SSR in Egypt? Gender in Egyptian Police: Current Status Gender in Egyptian Police: Current Status Need for Gender Perspective in the Police Need for Gender Perspective in the Police Challenges to Gender Perspective Challenges to Gender Perspective The Way Ahead The Way Ahead Content

4 I.Why SSR In Egypt?

5 Systematic human rights violations by the police, including torture, beatings, disappearances, unlawful interference in private life (i.e.: Khaled Said death). Police failure in carrying out their role during the revolution (Traffic, order and security, security vacuum filled in by voluntarily formed committees ). Mistrust between Police and the people after 25 th revolution: i.e.: high level of violence,led to the death of 685 young people(shot in the head and chest, indiscriminate killing)

6 Gender in Egyptian Police: Current Status

7 Since 1984: females were accepted in police (experimental program included 25 female). Degrees in law, art, social studies. Get 6 month-1 year training in police academy ( courses on physical training, shooting). Departments: Airports, women jails, police hospitals, tourism police, criminal investigation department. Zero women representation in CSF, Riots, private security guards.

8 Increasing representation in administrative work: Financial department in the MOI, administration of criminal evidence. Last months of Habeeb al-Adly era: Integrated in forces facing demonstrations. Trained to provide security during elections. After the Revolution, around 600 women joined the lower- ranking members of police institute, around 600 women joined the police academy. Plans to: increase number of women in ports, integrate them in police ambushes with male police backup as the number of women covering their faces (veiled ) increased.

9 Women’s Impact on Law & Order Women’s impact on the law and order agenda and styles of policing is limited. NGO attempts to increase gender awareness in police (i.e. High Council for women Rights trained police officers on how to record the women complains against home violence and sexual harassment). Positive response to complains of gender based violence still limited: i.e.: police responded to 28.6% of complains of sexual harassment by Egyptian women, and 21.4% of complains filed by foreign women.

10 III.Need for Gender Perspective in the Police

11 Increasing security needs by Egyptian women after the revolution (virginity check on activists by the military police, kidnapping girls for ransoms, attack on women demonstrators at Tahrir Square in March 2011 ) High level of gender –based violence: almost 97 % of Egyptian girls undergo circumcision. Acid attacks against young women seen as offending religious sensibilities by wearing make-up and miniskirts. Increasing collective sexual harassment during festivals, i.e.: Eid elFitr Oct men harassed group of girls, 38 were caught.

12 According to the annual report issued by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights Jan. 2011: 1308 rape and harassment cases were reported last year and the number of unreported cases is expected to be much higher. Women activists victim of violence by police forces (rape, threatening to rape). According to the annual report issued by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, 29 incidents recorded during 2010.

13 Increasing calls by NGOs to more gender perspective in SSR, i.e.: Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights which calls for assigning the investigation of rape and sexual harassment cases to female police officers( listening to the testimonies of victims of rape and harassment, holding the meetings between the victims and police officers outside the prosecutor’s office at the victims’ houses ). Recognition of the right of access to female police officers by female offenders and female victims of crime.

14 IV.Challenges to Gender Perspective

15 1.Sensitivity to Gender issues after the revolution : Salafi groups: questioning the women right to work in general Underrepresentation of women in the governments formed after the revolution i.e. :Sharaf Gov has only one woman

16 2.Cultural: Women stereotyped as weak, dependent and innocent victims while men are seen as strong, independent providers of security or perpetrators of violence Stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. 3.Institutional: institutional culture of the police,and SS in general, enforces certain ‘masculinized’ values and behaviors, which in turn impact on how the whole society views masculinity. No clear strategy for engaging women in police (no special academy for female police, no )

17 4.Media: Dual Effect: On the Police Institution: alMalahat Movie led to a reduction of number of women recruited to work in police. On Culture: women working in police are usually working in prisons and are portrayed as heartless; women working in intelligence are portrayed as persons whose main source of power is their physical appearance and their willingness to engage in sexual relations for professional ends. Results: These women chances for marriage are limited.

18 V.The Way Ahead

19 Education Policies: should include training for teachers so that they are able to lead a “cultural shift”. Media should communicate on the vital role women can play in strengthening security and generally portray a positive image of women in the security sector. Change legislations hindering gender diversification in the security sector.

20 Civil society institutions lobbying for integrating gender diversification in the security sector (i.e. inviting female international security experts to roundtable discussions on security sector oversight, conducting gender-impact assessments of proposed national security policies in collaboration with women’s organizations, actively recruiting female staff and interns to work on security issues and encouraging female students to enter the field) Encourage women to play an effective role in the security sector through security management and oversight bodies, such as parliaments and their relevant legislative committees.

21 Thank You


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