Egypt’s new draft constitution has been released, ahead of the public vote set for thirty days after the constituent assembly approves the changes. The document contains only one reference to women, in article 10 of the paper, in which it details the role that the state should have in maintaining the “true nature of the Egyptian family”.
According to the director of Human Rights Watch in Egypt, Heba Morayef, articles 44 and 31 “violate freedom of expression” as they prohibit insulting both “the human” and “prophets.”
However, the rights campaigner also tweeted that progress had been made via article 36, which had added the word “torture”, missing in previous drafts.
In an interview with Time magazine, published on Thursday, Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, said he would wait on a new constitution before backing down from his new powers.
Online activists criticized the timing of the constitution draft’s release, saying the president was making it public to stall anti-government protests.
On the same day, Egypt’s consituent assembly approved eleven alternate members to replace those that resigned in protest of Morsi’s decree.
The Egyptian public have been highly critical of Morsi’s new powers, announced a week ago, that put his decisions out of reach of the judicial system. Hundreds of thousands protested against the decree in and around Tahrir square in the capital on Tuesday, the largest turnout since the ousting of ex-president, Hosni Mubarak.