Skip to main content

Draft law pushes equal opportunity in Egypt

Social status and upbringing trump qualifications in obtaining positions in the Egyptian judiciary, Foreign Ministry, and police force.
Police and security forces stand guard outside a police academy where the trial of ormer Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is held on the outskirts of Cairo November 29, 2014. An Egyptian court on Saturday dropped its case against ousted president Hosni Mubarak on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 revolt that removed him from power. The court also cleared Mubarak and a former oil minister of graft charges related to gas exports to Israel.  REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tag
Read in 

CAIRO, Egypt — Remarks by former Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber that the son of a rubbish collector should not be appointed to the judiciary — delivered a few hours before Saber’s resignation — outraged Egyptians and highlighted the problem of social mobility, or lack thereof.

When asked during a television interview whether the son of a garbage collector might be appointed to the judiciary, Saber said, “The son of a rubbish collector will not become a judge, because he is not brought up in the right environment for this profession. Even if he becomes a judge, he will come across many problems and will [end up] quitting.” Saber also said, “The rubbish collector must have done a great job raising his son and helping him obtain a degree, but there are other jobs that suit him.” Saber stepped down May 10 following the public uproar triggered by his comments. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.