Women raise their arms before starting the first Egyptian womens' race, to raise awareness about violence against women, in the neighbourhood of Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
CAIRO - 14 March 2019: The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) expressed happiness for President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's declaration of 2017 as a year of Egyptian women, adding that it is the first of its kind globally.
UN Women also praised Egypt's National Council for Women for its recommendations to empower women at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York. The session is held from March 11 to 22.
Also, the representative of the European Union, during the session, stressed the continuation of cooperation between the EU, and the NCW as well as other concerned parties to achieve the economic, social and political empowerment of women.
Maya Morsy, head of the Egyptian delegation to the UN session, reviewed Egypt's achievements in the empowerment of women, affirming its direct relation to sustainable development.
Maya Morsy has presented some recommendations based on five axes:
- Strengthening the normative, legal and political frameworks in light of the rights of women granted by Egypt's 2014 Constitution, the national 2030 vision and the framework of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women, which was earlier announced by the Egyptian president.
The national strategy is considered to be a working document for the coming years. Egypt is the first country to launch a strategy that complies with the goals of sustainable development and is consistent with Egypt's vision 2030.
Morsy also reviewed the amendments and laws that Egypt has made for the economic and social empowerment of women, besides protecting women from violence through achieving and funding gender equality in Egypt and empowering women and girls.
She referred to programs and policies introduced by Egypt saying that President Sisi ordered allocating LE 250 million annually from the national budget for childcare services,LE 50 million annually to support breadwinner women and needy families, and LE 250 million annually for economic empowerment and financial inclusion programs for women.
Morsy highlighted the political participation of women, explaining that the representation of women in Parliament reached 15 percent, adding that 25 percent of the ministerial portfolios were granted to women, and 25 percent of the local council seats are also allocated for women.
Women have assumed high-level posts, becoming the first national security adviser to the president, the first deputy governor of the central bank, and the first head of court, she added.
Egypt periodically publishes reports on the status of women, she said, adding that Egypt has national mechanisms.She also lauded the state's efforts to combat violence against women.
Morsy referred to "Taa' Marbouta" campaign to empower women, saying that the campaign has been supported by 110 million followers so far.
Former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail opened on July 2, 2017, “Egypt Can (Taa Marbouta)” conference that shed light on the role played by Egyptian women abroad. The two-day event was organized by the Ministry of Immigration in cooperation with NCW. It came in conjunction with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s announcement of 2017 as the year of Egyptian women.
Furthermore, Morsy referred to a campaign that aims to involve men in the national efforts to empower women, stressing that Egypt will continue to work to reach the goals of sustainable development in terms of women empowerment, in cooperation with all its national and global partners.
Eventually, Morsy said that the NCW has been able to reach 1.5 million women so far through workshops, seminars and other campaigns.
Maged Othman, member of the NCW, explained the role, vision and goals of the Egyptian Women Observatory, which was established in 2017. He said that since then, the observatory has managed to have very important outcome concerning the economic and social empowerment of women.
The Egyptian Women Observatory works under the umbrella of the National Council for Women.
The Egyptian women achieved a remarkable success in bridging the educational gap, Othman said, revealing that female students in universities represent 54 percent,while female university graduates reach 54 percent. The unemployment rate among women decreased to 21.2 percent, Othman said.