The former Minister of Family and Population, Moushira Khattab, was nominated for the position of UNESCO’s Director General, which was announced on Tuesday, July 9 at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The elections were held on Monday the 10th of October, 2017 in Paris, France (missing “,”) where six countries, along with Egypt, competed for the post of UNESCO’s Director General. Khattab, 71, was known for being vice chair of the CRC, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in 2002 through 2010, and for constantly supporting human rights, education and social/human development. The secretary of the parliament’s Culture and Media committee, Ghada Sakr, shows support to Khattab by stating “we support women in all political fields, and Khattab’s nomination signifies an achievement for an Egyptian woman who has succeeded in politics.” Similarly, President of the NCW (National Council for Women), Maya Morsi, has “high expectations” for Khattab and believes that Egypt will “win the seat.”
Apart from that, Gamal Eid, an activist lawyer, disapproved of Khattab claiming that “Khattab does not have political preferences. She is secular and was a prominent figure of former president Hosni Mubarak’s government. I can’t understand our political leadership. Is Egypt void of professional figures other than those who served during the Mubarak era?” In spite of the critisism, however, Khattab came in third with a total of 25 votes after losing to France’s Audrey Azoulay, who garnered 31 votes crowning her the new Director General of UNESCO. According to Khattab, the reason for her defeat was due to the shutting down of Egyptian libraries such as Karma, Alf and El-Balad, by the authorities, in addition to Egypt’s poor performance with issues relating to protecting some of UNESCO’s human rights. Khattab later showed appreciation to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the Egyptians and the government for supporting her through the elections despite her defeat.