Dr Mona Makram-Ebeid joins Ms Cale Salih, Research Officer at the UNU Centre for Policy Research, for a conversation discussing the influence of Islam on Egyptian society, and the prospects of harmony between religion, politics, and human rights.
Through Egypt’s two revolutions — the overthrow of King Farouk in the 1952 coup d’état, and another of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 — the country has gone from one radical transition to another. Despite these political developments, women and religious minorities continue to struggle for equality and recognition. Though the new constitution guarantees women’s equality, in practice, Sharia law and conservative traditions hamper women’s empowerment. Similarly, Coptic Christians face ongoing discrimination as a marginalised group in a predominantly Islamic society. How can the evolving roles of politics and religion be reconciled with the rights of women and religious minorities in Egypt?
About the speaker
Dr Mona Makram-Ebeid is a distinguished lecturer of political science at the American University in Cairo. She was a member of the Shoura Council (Egyptian Senate) from 2012 to 2013, during which she also served as the head of the Committee of Social Rights at the National Council for Human Rights. From 1990 to 1995, she was a member of the People’s Assembly (Egyptian Parliament) and served on the Committees of Foreign Affairs and Education. Her other notable roles include Advisor to the World Bank for the Middle East and North African region, Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy, and Advisor to the minister of Manpower and Immigration of Egypt. She has also served on numerous academic boards, including for the British University in Egypt and the Arab Open University (Kuwait).
She is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (USA), and the American University in Cairo (Egypt).