Evaluation of the three major countries on the basis of three factors: Religiosity versus Secularism, Durable Control versus Rigidity in politics and Inequality versus Parity in recognized genders. The three countries chosen are Egypt from North Africa, Italy from Europe and Japan from Asia. The country is made up of many cultures, traditions and operated with the help of a set of policies and regulations that are formulated by the political power of the country. The political power of the country is the government of the country that ensures growth and progress of the country, as well as citizens of the country in every field. The position or growth of the country is evaluated on three parameters. The first parameter is Religion i.e. How religious or secular is the country? Secondly the political power of the country i.e. whether the political power of the country is centralized or decentralized? Is the country under dictatorship or is it a democratic country? Thirdly the equality between the recognized genders of the society i.e. whether the role of women is in par with a man or the country is male dominated? On the basis of this parameter’s, a country is evaluated and compared.
Egypt, a transcontinental country expands from Northeast corner of Africa to Southwest corner of Asia. Egypt is the most populated country in Africa and Middle East with 86million inhabitants. It is the 15th most populated country in the world. Egypt is the major centre of tourist attraction because of its rich cultural legacy and Red Sea Riviera.
Mubarak's government was facing widespread protests in 2011. Finally on 11 February 2011, Mubarak resigned from his post. The military of Egypt assumed the power of taking decisions. The Head of State was Mohamed Hussein Tantawi who was the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. On 13 February 2011, the military dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution.
Egypt had its first general elections on 28 November 2011. Mohamed Morsi was elected as the president on June24, 2012.The House of Representatives is vested with power of legislature, and it constitutes elected members who serve for every five years. Unfortunately, these elections were nullified following millions of protests against Mohammed Morsi. Currently, Egypt is under the Autocratic rule of the military of Egypt. The main cause considered is the cooperation of Muslim brotherhood and the Egyptian military. The senior members supported the role of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and remained silent when the military cracked down on the civil protestors. Tried them on a military court and conducted virginity tests of women protestors.
Islam arrived in the seventh century and after its arrival under Anwar Sadat; Muslim became the state religion and Sharia, the law of the country. Egypt is not a secular country constituting 90% of Muslims, 9% of Coptic Christians and 1% of other Christians. Only 12% of the population is non-Muslim. Egypt recognizes only three religions- Muslim, Judaism and Coptic Christians. Bahai and Ahmadi are not recognized as a religion and the people following this religion are considered minority and have to face persecution. Although some secularists and liberals want Egypt to be a secular state without being ruled by religion or army but pro-Morsi Egyptians are in favor of a constitution based on Sharia. The secularists or minority class fear that with the sharia being the constitution of Egypt and Islamists party the rulers, their interests will not be safeguarded and now is the time to move from religion based state to a secular state.
In 2013, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women published a report that showed the most recent statistics of sexual harassment in Egypt. The study showed that 99.3% of Egyptian women have gone through some form of sexual harassment. Even though, there is law against Female Genital Mutilation, still 91% of women are victims of sexual abuse by their husbands, their own fathers or brother or any other family member. The constitution of Egypt has right against exploitation and reservation of 49% for women to enter politics but in reality only 2% women are given seat in the party. Egyptian culture is entirely male dominated, and no equality in terms of Salaries offered to women and senior positions in the companies are given to men. Only Fashion and cooking industry has reservation for women.
Italian Republic is a Unitary Parliamentary Republic in Southern Europe and is the Fourth largest economy in the European Union. The capital of Italy is Rome and is the centre of all the political and religious of western civilization serving roman culture and Christianity.
Initially, a Monarchy Italy has been a democratic country since 1946 and its constitution came into being in 1948. Italy has a centralized government with all the powers vested with the central government. The prefect of every province is accountable to the central government but with the emergence of regional government, the country is decentralizing its power by giving additional power to the regional authorities. Legislative power vests with the Prime Minister, who is the President of the ruling party; Executive power is vested to the cabinet members and judiciary is independent of parliament.
85% of the population of the Italy is Roman Catholic, but the state of the country is not biased towards any religion and states clearly that every citizen has freedom to practice his/her own religion. There are many minorities that exist in Italy such as Evangelical Protestants, Buddhists, Jews, Jehovah’s, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Muslim immigrants. However, Christianity is the part of the unique cultural heritage of the country and The Vatican holds a very revered position in the country. Initially, The Vatican was part of the stated but a concordat signed in 1984. Ended the state religion of Catholic Church, and now Vatican is a separate organization and there is no compulsion in public schools to study about catholic religion.
Italy is considered the most backward countries in Europe in terms of gender equality. The women suffer violence from their ex-lovers or ex-husbands. Every third woman in Italy has undergone physical or sexual domestic violence and recently shocking acid attacks have startled the country. Due to slow implementation of laws, lack of redress to the victims, lengthy trials and inadequate trials have made the criminals move and act freely. On the other hand, women are not given equal status in organizations and all the major positions are occupied by the males. Even though, women are as educated as men but they are not regarded on par with men. In the political sphere also women are not given any reservation.
The state of Japan is an island nation located in Pacific Ocean. Often referred to as State of Rising Sun, Japan is an extensively populated country holding tenth rank in the world. It is the third largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product indicators and fourth largest in the world by purchasing power parity index.
The Japanese government, a constitutional monarchy, i.e. the power of the emperor is very limited in Japan. It is based on a bicameral parliamentary system. Executive power vests in the hands of the cabinet members. Cabinet consists of the prime minister and not more than 17 ministers of state that collectively are responsible to the Diet. The prime minister is always a member of the House of Representatives. The prime minister has the power to appoint and dismiss the ministers of state. The judicial system of Japan is based on the civil law of Europe.
People in Japan have freedom to practice their own religion according to the Article 20 of its constitution. Traditionally Japanese believed that all natural resources i.e. plants, animals, sun, moon possessed divine power and they worshiped them, This believe came to be known as Shinto. Later on Buddhism also was introduced in Japan in 6th century, and the rulers followed its teachings. Hence a native of Japan mainly follows Shinto and Buddhism. But there are many other religions followed by immigrants like Hinduism, Muslim, Christianity but this religion are practiced by very fewer people.
In Japan 40% of the women is working but still women face inequality at the timing of hiring, pay package and job position. Women even though equally qualified than men have to struggle to find a suitable job for themselves, and most of the women are unemployed. According to the government data only 12% of the women occupy managerial positions in the company, and there are very fewer women in the parliament. 11% of the women comprise of the lower house and 18% the upper house of parliament. The main reason behind gender inequality is that women need maternity leaves whereas company’s want employees who can work without long leaves.
The three countries are similar in on some grounds and different on some grounds. Where Egypt needs to move from Autocratic rule to the secular state giving freedom to practice religion and equal rights to the women, it also needs to focus on the scintillating issue of crimes against women especially domestic violence. Every second woman are Egypt is suffering physical or sexual harassment from her male counterpart’s need of the hour is to make stringent laws for the protection of women. Italy being a democratic country is liberal in the religious movements and people have freedom to practice their faith bit the similarity between Italy, Japan and Egypt is gender inequality. Women should be given important role and position in the workplace and in government rather than treating them as an object of pleasure and disgrace them physically, it’s important to make and implement laws for safety of women in public and at home.
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