Egypt’s Women Ministers Showcase Plans to Economically Empower Egyptian Woman

by nevine

A Ministerial panel discussion was held entitled “Iconic Success of an Egyptian Woman… A Minister’s Journey” at the Top 50 Women Forum’s second edition, organized by NCW, under the slogan “Empower Women to Empower Egypt”. The session included women ministers, who hold seats in Egypt’s cabinet to depict their inspiring success stories and robust influence on others.

The Ministerial panel discussion was attended by a group of Egyptian government ministers and officials, including Dr. Hala Al-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development; Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation; Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development; and Ambassador Soha Gendi, Minister Of Immigration And Egyptian Expatriates Affair, in addition to Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, and Mohamed Farid, Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

The session covered the pillars of success and their importance in women’s life, including future planning, work-life balance, and required skills and talents to achieve career progress, assume leadership positions and gain self-affirmation.

In the same context, Dr. Hala Al-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, confirmed that the economic empowerment of Egyptian women is one of the main pillars of the Egyptian sustainable development strategy.

She further added, during her keynote speech at WPS-2023, that Egypt’s vision 2023 includes women empowerment and support as one of its main pillars, explaining that there is a remarkable development in Egyptian women’s representation at many leadership positions.

Moreover, the minister indicated that the realization of women’s programs within the framework of Egypt’s Vision 2030 requires a political will to empower women, as well as increase the percentage of women’s presence in legislative positions, including the House of Representatives and the Senate, the judicial apparatus and the public prosecution.

Furthermore, Al-Said drew attention to the follow-up on realizing all these goals. She added that there is an increasing emphasis on upping the percentage of women-held positions at decision-making centers all over Egypt. The ministry of planning is cooperating with the Ministry of Immigration to help, support and empower Egyptian women living abroad, she noted, explaining that efforts are relentlessly exerted to increase the percentage of women-held positions at various national centers such as the National Training Academy of Egypt.

From her part, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that the Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment Program, that’s to be implemented in cooperation with other strategic partners, aims to improve private sector workplaces and stimulate high-growth sectors to provide more job opportunities for women and support gender equality.

Al-Mashat also referred to the efforts made by the Ministry of International Cooperation, in partnership with development partners, to implement the various strategies and visions of the Government of Egypt, pointing out that 3 main factors are taken into account: comprehensiveness to ensure stimulation of efforts to empower women, youth, and girls, the green transformation and the digital transformation.

Moreover, Al-Mashat revealed the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” was established by the Arab Republic of Egypt in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the National Council for Women (NCW). It reflects the government efforts and Egypt’s commitment to ensure that women play their role in development by being economically empowered, she noted, thus building back better and promoting sustainable growth within the platform with the Ministry, NCW, WEF, private sector, and civil society. It is the first of its kind in Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region, pointing out that the accelerator aims to bridge gender gaps in the labor market, she stated.

Thus, the minister drew attention to the role played by Egypt’s partnerships through international cooperation to enhance development efforts in all sectors, especially in small and medium enterprises, education, health, and social protection.

However, the minister stressed that the social inclusion pillar is a major axis in joint strategies with development partners, in line with the country’s priorities and efforts, which are implemented in partnership with the private sector, national entities, civil society organizations, and all relevant stakeholders.

On the other hand, Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, affirmed the Egyptian government’s keenness to empower women, provide job opportunities for young women, and improve their lives in all villages and cities all over the governorates, implementing the directives of H.E the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Moreover, he confirmed that his ministry is exerting relentless efforts to support and enhance the capabilities of youth and women, explaining that the last period witnessed an increase in the percentage of women’s representation in leadership positions within the Ministry and in various governorates reaching about 50%.

He further noted that this percentage is expected to grow in light of the success achieved by many female cadres in managing the files assigned to them.

The minister also pointed to the importance of the “Egyptians Hands-Ayady Misr” initiative, which aims to create added value for handicraft products and enhance women’s capacities in villages and governorates, in addition to providing training programs for craftsmen and artisans to improve their products by adopting modern methods in designs, product quality, and packaging.

It is worth mentioning that Ayady Misr is the First Online Marketplace for supporting Egyptian women in particular and the Egyptian household in general in promoting their handicrafts, under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Development and sponsored by World Food Program (WFP).

The digital platform helps Egyptian sellers to reach out markets, improve both domestic and logistic efficiency, and reduce transaction costs as well.

However, Ambassador Soha Gendi, Minister Of Immigration And Egyptian Expatriates Affair said that her ministry has been working for a while to organize workshops, through the presidential initiative, Haya Karima or A Decent Life, in 18 governorates, to educate women about discouraging their children from illegal immigration.

Furthermore, she noted that the ministry is currently working to train a large number of Egyptian workers in important professions required in both European and Gulf countries. She also emphasized that Egyptian woman’s empowerment is one of the most important issues during the current period, explaining that she worked before the ministry in several posts related to women’s awareness.

In the same context, Mohamed Farid, Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), said during his speech at the WPS-2023, that More than 50% of the companies listed in the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) have at least one woman on the board of directors as of 31 July 2020, slightly up from 47 percent in 2019. He added that FRA has made amendments to the rules for women’s representation on the boards of directors of listed companies, adding that the number of companies that support women’s representation on boards of directors is increasing day after day.

Moreover, Farid that companies operating in Egypt are fully convinced of creating job opportunities for women, noting that the total number of women benefiting from microfinance is 58% larger than that of men.

He also urged the private sector to take part in the women empowerment initiative, not only in the supervisory role but in all leadership roles as well.

However, Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt said during his speech at the WPS-2023 that the estimates within the European Union show that by 2050, improving gender equality will increase GDP from 6.1% to 9.6%.

He pointed out that the European Commission aims to set an example by targeting a gender balance of 50% at all levels of management by 2024, adding that in December of last year, new legislation for the European Union was passed aimed at ensuring an improvement in gender balance in all sectors across Europe.

Moreover, Berger pointed out that the European Union has taken historic decisions to ensure that women in European countries have equal opportunities with men, referring to the new rules related to gender equality.

Berger noted that the European Union has supported successful programs that promote the inclusion of women in the financial sector, qualify women for leadership, provide vocational skills, and offer technical education.

He explained that the EU not only supports programs that focus on women but also has an ambitious commitment to mainstream change in its development programs in various sectors.

However, Berger pointed out that there are still challenges facing women, especially the empowerment of women in leadership positions among senior executives, which is still taking place at a slow pace.

In conclusion, he stressed that Egyptian women left their distinctive marks and footprints in all fields, pointing out that the Women Professionals Summit was held to shed light on the journeys of these pioneering women. The Ambassador also praised all the efforts made in Egypt to enhance the role of women in business and financial inclusion and to increase their participation in the financial and banking sectors as well as the social and economic fields.

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Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.

Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.