Under Egyptian law, the nomination of new judges to the State Council or Maglis al-Dawla is by presidential decree following the approval of candidates by the administrative committee.

The general assembly vote turned the spotlight on a sense of malaise over the appointment of women to top jobs in Egypt.

It was roundly condemned by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), which urged the government to end discrimination against women in judicial positions.

"The continuing discrimination insults the many Egyptian women who are fully qualified to serve as judges," Nadya Khalife, women's rights researcher for the Middle East and North Africa at HRW, said at the time.