Al-Azhar discrimination complaint

Al-Azhar – Egypt's ancient Islamic university – could face legal action for discriminating against female students, Almasri Alyoumreports.

Some female students have complained that the admissions process is prejudiced as the university requires higher standards for females, it says. 

Parents of female students who feel discriminated against were asked by Farkhkanda Hassan, secretary general of the National Council for Women, to submit a complaint to the council's grievances office and to refer the matter to al-Azhar president Ahmed el-Tayeb. 

Director of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, Nehad Abul Qumsan plans to file an appeal with the administrative judiciary court arguing that the discrimination is prohibited under Article 40 of the Egyptian Constitution and Article 2 of Islamic law.

Male students outnumber females by three to one and the imbalance is greatest in science and medicine. The university denies discrimination and says this is because there are more male applicants.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 28 September 2009.