[JURIST] Egypt's State Council (Maglis id-Dowla) [POGAR backgrounder] association, an administrative court system with jurisdiction over cases involving the state, voted Monday to bar the appointment of female judges to the council. Of the 376 judges who participated in the vote [AFP report], 334 supported the bar against female appointments and 42 rejected it. Despite the overwhelming support the ban received, some are disappointed in the outcome of the vote, as it demonstrates a deep opposition to the government's campaign to eliminate gender discrimination in the judiciary. The decision could still be overruled by the Special Council, the body that oversees the State Council.
In 2007, 31 Egyptian women were selected [JURIST report] as judges by Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council, and later appointed by presidential decree despite ongoing resistance from the nation's conservatives. Council chief Mukbil Shakir selected the judges from a pool of state prosecutors who had passed a test for the positions. The move marked the first time in Egypt's history that women were named to preside over criminal or civil cases. In 2003, Tahany el-Gebaly became the nation's first female judge [Arabic News report] as a member of the Egyptian constitutional tribunal.