According to the Brotherhood, which has emerged as the most powerful political faction in Egypt since the 2011 uprising, the draft under discussion advocates sexual freedoms for women and the right to abortion “under the guise of sexual and reproductive rights.”
In its strongly worded statement, the Brotherhood also decried the document’s defense of homosexual rights, which are not recognized in Islam, and the equating between children born in and out of wedlock.
It said the title of the document addressing violence is “deceitful.”
“It contains articles that clash with Islamic principles and its basics mentioned in the Quran (Islam’s holy book) and in Islamic traditions,” the Brotherhood statement said. “It eliminates Islamic values, and seeks to destroy the family … which would lead to social disintegration.”
The Brotherhood, which won Egypt’s presidency and controls parliament, called on other Muslim nations, women’s groups and Islamic organizations to reject the document. It called it an infringement on the thought, culture and uniqueness of Islamic societies.
The Brotherhood urged women’s rights groups not to be “lured by phony calls for civilized behavior and by misleading and destructive processes.”
Libya’s top cleric also raised similar concerns, rejecting the document for violating Islamic teachings.
The head of the U.N. women’s agency, Michelle Bachelet, said she hoped the meeting would produce a document that becomes a tool to improve the fight against violence against women.
When the commission took up the issue a decade ago, governments were unable to reach agreement. Differences over sex education, a woman’s right to reproductive health, and demands for an exception for traditional, cultural and religious practices stymied an accord.
The Brotherhood’s statement appeared to reflect those persistent differences, saying that religious traditions and values are threatened by such a universal document.
Francoise Girard, executive director of the New York-based International Women’s Health Coalition, a nonprofit organization which promotes the reproductive and sexual rights of women and young people, told The Associated Press she expected “strong” conclusions to the debate.
Girard said a range of issues in the text are still unresolved including several references to sexual violence, the connection of violence against women and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and what governments need to do to prevent sexual violence.