Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood has objected to a UN declaration on violence against women on the grounds that it would lead to the “disintegration of society” – a move that threatens to derail efforts by the international community to reach an agreement.
The strident statement from the Brotherhood, led by President Mohamed Morsi, right, is its most revealing yet on its attitudes towards women, and it is likely to stoke fears that the group will try to rein in women’s freedoms.
Egypt joins Iran, Russia and the Vatican in objecting to the proposed language of the document, and it is reported to be seeking an “opt-out clause” that would allow it to disregard it when it conflicted with national, religious and cultural values. But diplomats were expected to resist such a move, fearing it would weaken the declaration.
In what the Brotherhood said was a “closer look at … what decadence awaits our world”, it described as “deceitful” proposals including the right to contraception and abortion, and equal rights to homosexuals.
Ratification of the declaration would, the Brotherhood claimed on its website this week, “lead to the complete disintegration of society, and would certainly be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries.”