Egypt’s missed constitutional moment
By Zaid Al-Ali, Foreign Policy, December 17, 2013
Egypt’s new draft constitution includes a number of important improvements. It contains clear language on the issue of discrimination and violence against women; it grants significant rights and affords protection to children and the disabled; the list of socio-economic rights has been lengthened and is more detailed than it has ever been. Efforts were made to close some of the loopholes in the system of government that had been created in the 2012 constitution, and the useless Shura Council was eliminated, therefore simplifying the legislative process. Finally, more secular-minded Egyptians will be comforted that many of the references to religion that had been included in 2012 were eliminated. Most importantly, the infamous article 219 from the 2012 constitution was removed, allowing a large number of nervous Egyptians to breathe a collective sigh of relief.