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For Egyptian Women, a Simple ID Can Provide Basic Rights

For Egyptian Women, a Simple ID Can Provide Basic Rights


Written by Tarek Amr

According to figures coming from the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, as many as 4 million women in the country do not have national identity cards. A woman without a national ID is not able to own land, she cannot buy or sell assets and she cannot even inherit from her deceased family members.

The lack of IDs also prevent women the access to various of public services, including education, healthcare, the right to vote and other basic social rights. And that’s why a new campaign has been launched aiming to provide all women with national ID cards.

The campaign is called “Your ID, Your Rights” and their goal is to issue IDs to 2 million Egyptian women for free. It will start with a pilot for three months.

According to the campaign’s Facebook page [ar]:

The pilot will be for three months, starting from March, and it will take place in the Qaliobeya governorate, which has 14 districts, and the target of the pilot period are 40,000 women with no ID cards. The following districts have been chosen in the Qaliobeya for the pilot period: Benha, Qalioub, Shebin El Kanater and El-Kanater El-Khayreya districts.

This isn’t the first campaign of try to achieve the same goal, however this one is supported by various NGOs, including UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), UNDP (United Nations Development Program), MSAD (Ministry of State for Administrative Development), SFD (Social Fund for Development), MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and others.

The campaign organisers are also making use of social media to spread awareness about the project. They have launched accounts on Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about the campaign as well as gender inequality issues in the country.

On Twitter, they announced:

@Million_ID: Egypt is ranked number 120 among 128 countries when it comes to gender inequality.

Finally, they want people to help them raise awareness about the campaign by sharing and retweeting their posts on Facebook and Twitter.

And here’s how they frame their appeal to netizens:

@Million_ID: The goal of our presence online is not the reach the women in villages, but to raise awareness about the campaign among middle and upper class.

This post was originally published by Global Voices.


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Photo from Nasser Nouri via flickr

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7:54PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:35AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

I pray for only good to come from obtaining this ID. Women worldwide need to be educated in their rights. Perhaps, as one commenter said, the UN could participate in this endeavour to speed up and protect women's rights.

4:26PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

This seems like a very limited view, what are the other aspects of having an ID card?
In many countries, having an ID card or otherwise being registered in some way can be a significant problem, even hazard to freedom and life.

I would not blindly support this promotion of ID cards, without understanding the wider implications.

3:10PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I agree with you robert , this is an issue concerning the right of humans, animals have their section somewhere else, I swear some people care more about an ant that they do about their fellow neighbor , sad!

1:57PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

UN should support

1:02PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I hope it works out well for the women.

11:57AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Women deserve their full human rights, plain and simple.

Yes the donkey does look a bit skinny, but considering the rough climate and lack of food and medical care there, people aren't in the best of health either (though the women in the picture look okay) so their animals most likely won't be but that doesn't necessarily mean the animals are in imminent danger. I think we're losing sight of the issue here (thanks to the pciture) since this is not about animals but about people, namely women that are being denied their basic human rights. Animals aside do you care about this issue yes or no?

10:57AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Just to see the way they treat that poor donkey. those obesse ladies deserve nothing.

9:25AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I'm against the push to ID in general, how much longer unti we do away with paper currency? But at least in this situation the government is providing these IDs for women without any hassle. I have to give them the benifit of the doubt before I hear otherwise.

9:18AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I usually distrust the Government and wonder if this movement is not a move to better control women?

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