Egypt’s first female Christian governor assumes office
London, August 31, 2018 (AltAfrica)-President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi of Egypt on Thursday swore in 21 New Provincial Governors, including the First Female Governor from the country’s minority Christian Community.
Manal Mikhail has been appointed governor of the coastal city of Damietta, becoming the first-ever Christian woman to hold such a position, private newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reported.
Manal Mikhail taken oath of office as governor of the coastal city of Damietta, Egypt. (Al-Arabiya)
Egypt has the largest Christian community in the Middle East, accounting for around 10 per cent of the country’s mostly Muslim population of 95 million.
Egypt’s Christians have long complained of persecution and Islamist attacks.
Al-Sissi, a Muslim, is popular among the country’s Christians, who backed his ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following Mass Street protests against his divisive rule.
Al-Sissi has courted the Christian community to an extent unseen for decades, visiting the main Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo on several occasions since he took office in 2014.
In 2016, the parliament, led by al-Sissi’s backers, approved a long-awaited law aimed at easing restrictions on building churches.
Christians, have long complained of discrimination and their under-representation in top government positions. Christians strongly supported general-turned-president el-Sisi who led the ouster of his Islamist predecessor.
Egypt’s current cabinet includes eight female ministers, the highest in the country’s modern history.