Egypt installs nearly 100 women on key judicial body

Nearly 100 women were sworn in to join Egypt's State Council on Tuesday, becoming the first female judges to join one of the country's main judicial bodies.

The State Council's chief judge, Mohammed Hossam el-Din, swore in 98 women to the judicial body at an event in Cairo, according to The Associated Press.

"They are an important addition to the State Council," Hossam el-Din said of the new judges.

"This is a memorable day. It is a dream for us and for past generations as well," said newly sworn-in judge Radwa Helmy. "Being a woman in one of the chief judiciary institutions in Egypt and the Arab world was a dream."

Egypt's State Council is an independent judicial body that largely handles administrative disputes, disciplinary cases and appeals.

The council routinely rejected female applicants in the past, but on International Women's Day in March, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the country's Ministry of Justice to allow women to hold positions in the State Council, as well as the public prosecution office earlier this year.

Al-Sisi announced the appointment of the new female judges at the beginning of October, Egyptian Streets reported. The news outlet noted that Egypt has only had 66 female judges out of more than 16,000 at the time of al-Sisi's order.