Egypt Seeks to Empower Women Socially, Politically

Egypt is determined that fostering women’s inclusion in all facets of national action represents the only way to attain prosperity and stability.

The last few years have seen remarkable progress in political empowerment and support for Egyptian women.

The government has worked on increasing the percentage of women in parliament from 2% in 2015 to 28% in 2020. This is the largest representation of women in Parliament since they were given the right to stand in the 1957 election. The worldwide average percentage of women in Parliament is 26%.

Egyptian women have obtained a quota of 25% of seats in parliament under the recent 2019 constitutional amendments.

However, the percentage of women in the Senate is 14%, after the president doubled the number of women by appointing female deputies to the House.

Furthermore, there is an increase in the percentage of women in the cabinet from 6% in 2015 to 20% in 2017, then to 25% in 2018, with eight female ministers.

Meanwhile, Egypt ranked second in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) when it comes to women’s representation in the cabinet in 2021. The percentage of women in the position of deputy governor in 2019 amounted to 31%.

In addition, the number of female members in the Administrative Prosecution Authority is 1,988 judges out of 4635, 43% of which are women.

Thus, five women held the position of head of the Administrative Prosecution Authority.

The state has appointed a female deputy judge to the Supreme Constitutional Court in 2020, the second woman to be appointed to this position since the establishment of the court in 1969.

According to a recent cabinet report, women’s political rights in legislative councils include increasing women’s representation in the House of Deputies to 165 seats in 2022, up from 9 seats in 2012, as well as increasing women’s representation in the Senate to 41 seats in 2022, up from 12 seats in 2012.

In implementing the objectives of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said has emphasized the importance of supporting and empowering women by providing all economic, social, and political opportunities that qualify them to upgrade their capabilities.

Women in various countries of the world, especially Arab women, have always proven that they are capable of facing the increasing global challenges, starting with the Covid-19 epidemic, to the successive geopolitical crises that the world is currently witnessing, el-Saeed said in recent press statements.

Egypt believes in empowering women, which has become an approach rooted in the country’s development orientation through the launch of the Gender Responsive Planning Guide, which aims to integrate the social dimension into all development plans.

El-Saeed added that the state is also working to support women economically, politically, and socially through many projects and initiatives such as the Decent Life initiative which plays an important role in improving the living conditions of Egyptian women.

The initiative contributes to improving the quality of life for 34 M women due to the provision of good health services, decent housing, and job opportunities.

The national project for the development of the Egyptian family also enhances efforts to improve the status of women.

Egypt, US Sign MoUs to Establish Technological Schools

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said, Minister of Education and Technical Education Reda Hegazy, and USAID Acting Mission Director in Egypt Margaret Sancho attended on Monday the signing ceremony of five memorandums of understanding between the Ministry of Education and Technical Education and the USAID-financed “Workforce Egypt” project to establish five international technological schools in the governorates of Giza, Qalyubia, Menofia, and Qena.

USAID’s Workforce Egypt aims to help transform the technical education and vocational training (TVET) system to produce the skills needed for a globally competitive Egyptian market, thereby creating sustainable jobs, especially for youth and females, and institutionalizing structural labor market reforms that can

support workforce development now and in the future.

According to USAID, working with a variety of Egyptian partners, the Workforce Egypt project, which commenced in June 2021, provides technical assistance, capacity building, and training for relevant stakeholders and counterparts to achieve three main objectives:

(1) Transform the quality and market relevance of TVET institutions and programs.

(2) Strengthen private sector participation in workforce development.

(3) Improve the environment for skills development and employment.

It is worth noting that establishing technological schools is part of the Egyptian government’s efforts to develop technical education programs in collaboration with the private sector.

During the meeting, the minister also reviewed the status of the Egyptian economy in light of the current international changes and initiatives currently being implemented by the ministry, along with spheres of cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

El-Said said the ministry is currently cooperating with the various ministries, state institutions, the private sector, and civil society to implement Egypt’s vision of 2030.

The minister also reviewed the US-Egyptian relations in light of current changes, noting that the US was the third biggest investor in Egypt during 2020/2021.

The US charge d’affaires reviewed the international economic situation especially the economic developments in the US and means of enhancing cooperation with the USAID.



Egypt, Australia Discuss Tourism Cooperation

On  Sunday, March 16, Deputy Tourism Minister Ghada Shalbi discussed with Australian Ambassador Axel Wabenhorst ways of increasing tourism inflow from Australia to Egypt.

The diplomat lauded Egypt’s tourist destinations, saying the Australian tourist is not familiar with all of Egypt’s tourist products.

He further underlined the importance of promoting all tourism potentials Egypt has to encourage more Australians to visit the country.

They agreed on holding meetings between Egyptian and Australian tour organizers within the coming period to get updated on the latest in the Egyptian tourism industry.

Egypt to Get Its Very Own Fashion Week for the First Time

Egypt to Get Its Very Own Fashion Week for the First Time

For the first time, Egypt will now have its very own fashion week in May, as announced by Egypt’s Fashion and Design Council on Tuesday, March 21, according to the “Egyptian Streets” website.

Under the theme, “The Past, Present and Future”, the opening night of the first edition will display the work of prominent Egyptian designers at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, Cairo.

“The past because, of course, our designers should be inspired by our culture, by our heritage,” Susan Sabet, co-founder of Egypt’s Fashion and Design Council, said at a press conference in Cairo to announce the launch of the event.

“The present, because we do live in the present and we are very much aware of what is going on in the world,” she added. “And the future because we know where everything is going, where we should be in a few years.”

Paul Antaki, who has long been a pioneer in Egypt’s fashion industry and introduced a major brand, Benetton, into Egypt’s market, said that the current economic situation in Egypt encourages people to embrace local manufacturers and brands.

“We think that it is the right time to tell people that: here in Egypt without importing, you can dress from Egyptian products, fabrics, styles, and designers,” he said at the press conference. “Everything is there around you. Why do you have to go and look for imported products?”

The industry-leading business Creative Headz, which has 15 years of expertise producing fashion events, will co-produce Egypt’s inaugural fashion week together with Launch metrics, an official partner of the New York and Paris fashion weeks.

Fashion in the Middle East has been experiencing unprecedented transformations, mainly due to the growth of e-commerce and new government policies, such as Egypt’s recent decision to set up a Textile Industries Council.

Two weeks ago, Dubai Fashion Week, which was rebranded from Arab Fashion Week, debuted at Dubai Design District and garnered significant interest from international designers, including Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, Iris Van Herpen, Bouguessa, Amato, Bhype, and The Giving Movement.

Local fashion brands are becoming increasingly popular among Middle Eastern consumers, according to a BoF Insights report. Senior fashion executives are optimistic about growth in the region compared to other areas, as 55 percent said that the region will have the most promising development prospects in 2023 versus 2022.

AOI: Discussions on Localizing Technology for Producing Electric Car in Arab Countries

Chairman of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Mokhtar Abdel Latif, underlined the importance of putting into effect the directives by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on promoting cooperation with Arab countries and capitalizing on their national industrial potential to localize technology and enhance the local industry.

Mokhtar also underlined the importance of realizing Arab industrial integration and reducing importation.

He stressed the importance of finalizing executive measures for jointly producing an Arab e-car to make up for the need for eco-friendly cars at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which is due to take place in the UAE.

He made the remarks on Sunday within the context of meetings of the higher committee of integrated industrial partnership, held under directives of the political leadership of the committee’s member states; Egypt, UAE, Jordan, and Bahrain.

The meetings tackled means of localizing Arab electric car production using local components available in the committee’s member states.

Egypt Participates in ‘Earth Hour’

Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said Egypt partakes in the world environmental event “Earth Hour”, in which lights are switched off to spotlight climate change.

The minister reiterated that Egypt is one of the first Arab countries that joined the annual event, which aims to encourage individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights, for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., a symbol of commitment to the planet.

She indicated that Egypt started to take part in the event in 2009, joining 88 countries to raise awareness about protecting the Earth from the negative effects of global warming and climate change.

Minister Fouad added that the Environment Ministry coordinates with several ministries and governorates to guarantee successful participation in this year’s event, themed “It’s time for nature”.

The participants in the event are set to flick off lights for one hour at many of Egypt’s tourist favorites to promote awareness of the importance of taking serious steps to reduce energy consumption.

Presidential Decree Approves Memo with France for Developing Green Hydrogen Sector in Egypt

The official gazette published on Thursday a presidential decree sanctioning a memorandum of understanding for strategic technical cooperation between Egypt and France for developing green hydrogen sector in Egypt.

Under the memo signed on May 30, 2022, France offers a 500,000-Euro grant through the French Development Agency.

Egypt, Czech Republic Discuss Enhancing Parliamentary Ties

Egypt’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mahmoud Afifi, met with Czech Chamber of Deputies Speaker Marketa Pekarova-Adamova and discussed means of boosting parliamentary ties between the two countries.

On Tuesday, The Foreign Ministry shared on its official Facebook page that they stressed the importance of the role of the parliaments in bringing closer the peoples of the two countries.

During their meeting, the Egyptian diplomat posted Pekarova-Adamova on the Egyptian parliament’s activities that aim at developing the legislative process in a way that helps keep abreast of the different political, economic, and social developments taking place in Egypt and serving the citizens’ interests.

For her part, the Czech Chamber of Deputies Speaker said that her country attached importance to promoting ties with Egypt in various domains, particularly in light of Egypt’s long experience in devising the legislative system and the transformative role played by the Egyptian parliament at the regional and international levels.

At the end of their meeting, she asked Ambassador Afifi to convey her greetings to the Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives, hoping to meet with him again in the coming period.

Egypt’s Giza Pyramids and Saqqara Featured Again on Time’s Magazine Among World’s Greatest Places 2023

Even after so many years, the world has never let go of the splendor and marvel of the pyramids in Giza, rising high above the desert sands, the iconic site is listed once again on TIME’s 2023 World’s Greatest Places to visit, along with the historically-rich site of Saqqara, according to the “Egyptian Streets” website.

Out of 50 others, the two destinations were deemed worthy of a visit, according to a network of international correspondents to “TIME”.

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza will no longer involve just riding horses or camels, but today, it will also include visiting the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, which is currently open to limited tours, as the first phase of the museum’s opening is referred to as a “trial special operations period,” it grants access to the commercial area, the gardens, and the Atrium. However, all the permanent exhibition galleries will eventually become fully operational in 2023.

The Great Pyramid may be seen from the 5.2 million square foot museum on the outskirts of Cairo. GEM is home to 100,000 items, many of which were relocated from the crowded, recently renovated museum in Tahrir Square and some of which have never before been seen by the general public. About all 5,000 of King Tutankhamun’s artifacts that were discovered 100 years ago are shown in two of GEM’s exhibition halls.

Egypt’s tourism witnessed a boom in 2023, as Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa Taha announced on Wednesday, 15 March that Egypt saw 11.7 M tourists in 2022 with an expected increase of 28 percent in 2023.

The boom comes after a series of directives set in place by the Egyptian government to boost tourism, one of which was facilitating the process of obtaining a tourist visa. By September 2022, hotels in Egypt had seen an increase of 63.3 percent from the year before, with the number of nights spent by tourists amounting to 52.6 million.


Egypt May Add 8 More State-owned Companies to its IPO Program

Egypt is looking to add eight more state-owned enterprises to its list of 32 companies to be listed under the government’s initial public offering program, according to the Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait.

The minister made these remarks during his participation in the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, according to Ahram Online.

The government launched proceedings to offer two military-owned companies, the National Company for Producing and Bottling Water (Safi) and Wataniya Petroleum, starting next Wednesday.

In addition, four enterprises will be available through investment banks in 2023.

Moreover, Maait said the government is targeting $10 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the FY2022–23. year ending June 30, up from $8.6 billion in the FY 2021–22.

However, the first seven months of the current fiscal year showed signs of improvement. The initial surplus rose to EGP 33.7 bn, up from EGP 15.2 bn in the corresponding course of FY2021/2022, Maait added.