On the morning of the 26th of October 2022, Dr. Maya Morsi, the President of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), delivered a keynote speech during the 5th (UfM) Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society. The conference brought together Ministers of the 42 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) responsible for women’s affairs and gender equality, under the Co-Presidency of the European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The conference is taking place in Madrid, Spain on the 26th of October and throughout the 27th of October.
Dr. Maya expressed her appreciation to the Spanish government for hosting a ministerial presence about harnessing the role of women in society. She also emphasized the unprecedented reforms achieved locally and internationally during the last years, referring that Egypt’s constitution of 2014 entails more than 20 clauses about empowering women. This is in addition to launching Egypt National Observatory for Women, in parallel with the Women’s Empowerment strategy. In 2021, the national strategy for human rights was launched, showing a prime focus on women empowerment, which is also illustrated in the national strategy of women empowerment 2030.
Further, she stated that Egypt took the lead in issuing a policy paper about responding to the women’s demands during the Covid -19 pandemic, issuing 165 measures. Accordingly, Egypt was ranked first in the Middle East, West Asia, and the Arab region, as stated by the UN Women and USAID’s reports. Egypt issued an international decision in collaboration with Algeria, China, KSA, and Zambia on the swift response to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on women.
Dr. Maya also highlighted that the parliamentary representation of women in Egypt raised to 28%, to 14% in the Senate, and 24% in the local councils. Women’s representation in the cabinet reached its highest rate, reaching 25%. Further, 27% of the deputy ministers and 31% of the NCW members are women.
Further, the Hayat Karima program allocated EGP 800bn for 58 million beneficiaries to promote their well-being. This is in addition to the presidential health initiative for providing checkups to 28million women. Further, the financial inclusion initiative integrated more than 50% of women through the launch of the first saving app for women. Besides, she illustrated the decrease in the school dropout rate, combating violence against women. Moreover, Egypt, in line with hosting the COP 27 next November, launched a vision on the role of women towards climate change to be promoted to an African initiative entitled “African Women and Adapting to climate change. In this regard, 16 consultation meetings were held.
She also affirmed the importance of women’s socio-economic empowerment and combating violence in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Finally, Dr. Maya stated that these achievements wouldn’t have been a reality without such pioneering political leadership.