National Women’s Association launches “Ettamen” to provide an anti-violent safe environment for women

The National Council for Women participated in the “Ettamen” or “Rest assured” symposium, which it organized in cooperation with the Anti-Violence Against Women Unit and the “Reassured” Foundation. The symposium discussions revolved around the university’s role in providing a safe environment, free of all forms of violence and discrimination, and the services provided to male and female students through the Women’s Support and Anti-Violence Unit at Beni Suef University.

It took place in the presence of Ms. Dina Hussein, member of the National Council for Women and Rapporteur of the Youth Committee, Dr. Nermin Mahmoud, member of the National Council for Women in Beni Suef, Dr. Gamal Abdel Rahman, Vice President for Education and Student Affairs, Dr. Ghada Atef, Director of the Anti-Violence Unit at the University, and Dr. Moamen Zakaria, Director of the Safe Women Unit. 

The symposium presented the Women’s Complaints Office’s role in the Council, the services it provides, and how to defend oneself when subjected to physical and sexual abuse in public and private places, using the “5-D” technique associated with distraction, delegation, documentation, delay, and direct guidance.

16-day campaign to combat violence against women: “Be the One”

The National Council for Women (NCW) has launched this year’s 16-day campaign to combat violence against women for the 7th year in a row, using last year’s slogan “Be the One”. Coincidentally, the campaign takes place at the same time the world celebrates the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”, from November 25 to December 10.

The campaign will move forward with its regular seminars, discussing methods to achieve women’s empowerment and advocate against all types of gender-based violence.

However, this year will witness the launch of a parallel campaign in 10 Egyptian Governorates, entitled “Protect Her from Circumcision”, organized by the National Committee for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, and overseen by the NCW, in cooperation with the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood (NCMC). It involves spreading awareness of the harms of female genital mutilation.

President of the NCW, Dr. Maya Morsy highlighted the government’s effort throughout the past 8 years, underlining the laws and legislation enforced to combat all forms of violence against women, which includes an article in the investment law that guarantees to provide women with equal investment opportunities and criminalize the act of depriving women of their inheritance. On top of that, they implemented the civil service law to permit a four-month maternity leave rather than only three; in addition to issuing a penalizing law against fathers who refuse to financially support their children by paying alimony. Moreover, the cabinet approved a preliminary law against early, bargain, or forced marriages, as of 2022.

The NCW will collaborate with the United Nations Population Fund, during the campaign, and set up a workshop, through which 65 men and women will attend a course on how to battle brutal crimes against women, as well as crimes linked to personal status.

The President of the NCW participates in the “Egyptian Women Abroad Program”

Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, participated in the video conference meeting organized by the “National Training Academy” with the trainees of the first batch of the “Egyptian Women Abroad program”. The meeting discussed various women’s issues and answered questions about them, approaching the end of their training on empowering Egyptian women and their rights in the laws and the constitution, presented by a distinguished group of professors of the National Council for Women.

Dr. Maya Morsi began her speech by congratulating the graduates of this important program, and appreciating the efforts of the National Training Academy led by Ms. Rascha Ragheb, saying, “I am quite sure that female cadres in Egypt will be distinguished, thanks to these important training programmes,” emphasizing the importance of opening dialogue platforms, and wishing for more graduates from this program.

She also acknowledged the NCW’s national involvement in empowering Egyptian women and protecting them from all forms of violence directed against them.
Additionally, she praised the state’s efforts in empowering women in all fields, through two main programs, th “Decent Life” and the “National Program for the Development of the Egyptian Family”, where women and their needs are considered among their main pillars. 

She also referred to the president’s initiative to support the health of Egyptian women, and the national program “Noura”, which aims to empower girls, and invest in them as leaders of the future.

Moreover, Dr. Morsi referred to the national strategy to empower Egyptian Women 2030, which was prepared by the Council and approved by the President as the governmental working document for the coming years.

Note that, Egypt was the first country in the world to issue a policy paper on responding to the special needs of women and girls in light of the Corona virus pandemic, and launched a mechanism to monitor the implementation of those policies, which spotted over 165 suggestions to support Egyptian women from March 2020 to January 2021, in the fields of labor market, protection from violence against women, social protection, policies responsive to women’s needs, financial and economic policies, as well as being the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch a “gender gap bridging catalyst”, based on the model of the World Economic Forum, which focuses on the economic empowerment of women and the promotion of partnership between the public and private sectors. 

The President of the Council pointed out the launch of awareness programs for women on the importance of participating in elections, the right to vote, and training and guidance programs, as well as the issuance of national ID cards for women. Women’s constitutional rights have turned into laws, strategies, and executive programs, and a constitutional quota that guaranteed a 25% women representation in local councils, 10% in the Senate, and tangible presence in the boards of directors of financial companies, as well as the banking sector. Dr. Morsi also highlighted the importance of the political will in supporting women and the state’s various policies to support women’s participation in the labor market, and reviewed the laws and legislation issued by Egypt in regards to women’s economic empowerment.

Regarding the environmental aspect and the climate change crisis, in conjunction with Egypt’s hosting of the “COP 27” during the past few days, Dr. Morsi referred to features of the president’s initiative “African women climate adaptive priority” (AWCAP), which launched in cooperation with the main UN partner, the “United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women” UN-Women, stressing that it is a distinct initiative with a regional focus that gives Africa the opportunity to achieve the UN goals for climate change by empowering of women. 

The “Egyptian Women Abroad” program is considered to be the first funded scholarship offered by the “National Academy for Training” under the auspices of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the participation of the Ministry of State for Immigration and Affairs of Egyptians Abroad, as part of the state’s strategy to enhance the capabilities, knowledge and skills of women that guarantee them a place in the labor market to secure their economic well-being, and allows them to be re-employed in constantly-changing job markets. This program is the beginning of a series of programmes, initiatives and grants that will be directed to women in various categories.

The “National Training Academy” is led by Mrs. Rascha Ragheb, and aims to achieve the requirements of human development for youth cadres in all sectors of the country and to improve their abilities and skills. The Academy has integrated the principles of equality and women’s empowerment in its curriculum that target state employees.

 

Initiative to Limit Women to Decision-Making Positions

Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development collaborated with the National Council for Women “NCW” and launched a website for the initiative to count women in decision-making positions, whether in leadership positions or boards of directors of public and private institutions. Its main focus is to develop a comprehensive vision of the numbers and percentages of women’s presence in decision-making positions.

 This initiative comes under the auspices of president Abdelfattah El-Sisi, in his pursuit to monitor the status of women in decision-making positions, and keep up with the universal efforts to minimize the gender gap.

Initiative goals:

– Gather information and devise a valid, updated comparison between the number of men and women in decision-making positions over the last 3 years, 2019-2021.

– Determine the rate of women’s participation in leadership and decision-making positions in the previous years, and anticipate its future increase.

– Verify the degree to which Coronavirus affects the percentage of women’s presence in leadership and decision-making positions.

– Create important statistics on Governorates and sectors, in addition to the typical activities of women in leadership and decision-making positions. This would make it much easier to enforce the necessary policies to enhance the role of women.

The National Council for Women reveals the reasons for women’s low labour-force participation.

The National Council for Women reveals the reasons for women’s low labour-force participation.

Maya Morsi, the President of the National Council for Women, participated in the fourth meeting of the Facilitative Committee of Partners of the Joint Program “Promoting productive and decent work for women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine”, hosted by Egypt, to promote knowledge-sharing among Governments, development partners, employers, civil society organizations and United Nations agencies in the three countries.

Maya Morsi stated that one of the most difficult challenges facing the program is ensuring a strong presence of women in the workforce, pointing out that one of the factors causing low rates of female labour-force participation is the high cost of childcare and housework. Whereas changing legislation is simple, implementing it is difficult due to ideas, a rigid mentality, and a stereotypical view of women’s work.

She drew attention to a 2018 study on the economic empowerment of women conducted by the National Council for Women in collaboration with the World Bank, which identified the most prominent sectors for women’s employment, as the media, information, and communication technology industries experienced rapid growth while also providing effective tools to advance the development and social justice.

Egypt’s NCW launches 16-day campaign to combat violence against women

Egypt’s NCW launches 16-day campaign to combat violence against women

According to Ahram Online, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) launched a 16-day campaign to combat violence against women.

The National Council for Women (NCW) of Egypt began a 16-day campaign to end violence on Friday in honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In Egypt, the 16-day campaign spotlights the health and psychological risks caused by violence against women by coordinating activities with other national bodies, said Maya Morsy, the president of the council.

Among the events are the opening of two women’s clinics at Azhar University and Suez Canal University, a sports event called “Yes Yoga Day,” and seminars on violence against women, women’s empowerment, and workplace safety.

The campaign also includes symposiums on other issues such as cyber-blackmail against women as well as the relationship between overpopulation and violence against women, added Morsy.

Additionally, the Egyptian National Committee for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation will launch its door-to-door “Protect Her from Circumcision” campaign in ten governorates.

According to the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, 31 percent of Egyptian women who are or were previously married and are between the ages of 15 and 49 reported experiencing “physical, sexual, or psychological violence” at the hands of their spouses in 2021.

Egypt has enacted several pieces of legislation over the past eight years to guarantee women’s protection against all forms of violence, Morsy said, pointing to the inclusion of an article in the country’s constitution to protect women against violence.

The NCW has also established 26 units at Egyptian universities nationwide to combat violence against women.

According to the World Health Organization, up to 736 million women worldwide experience physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of their husbands or other people.

Globally, up to 736 million women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lives at the hands of their husbands or others, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

UN Women and ILO hold the 4th annual meeting of the regional Joint Strategic Coordination Committee for the Work for Women programme

Cairo – Within the framework of the Joint Programme[1] “Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work for Women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” (Work4Women), generously funded by the Government of Sweden and the Swedish International Development Agency, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States and the ILO’s Regional Office for the Arab States jointly held the fourth Joint Programme Strategic Coordination Committee (JPSCC) on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022, in Cairo, Egypt.

Hosted by the National Council for Women and the Ministry of Manpower in Egypt, the meeting of the regional JPSCC was convened to share knowledge between governments, development partners, workers’ and employers’ organizations, civil society organizations and UN agencies in the three countries. The meeting provided a forum for updates and discussions on the programme’s progress and results achieved to date in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine, including a variety of research produced by the programme that can facilitate decision-makers’ development of effective policy solutions. The meeting highlighted the need for deeper engagement to understand and address women’s economic empowerment issues among all partners.

The JPSCC is considered as the highest body for strategic guidance and coordination within the JP. It is also regional in its remit, covering all three participating countries in the programme, and is responsible for ensuring that all of the JP’s objectives are met as defined in the programme’s documents, and that the programme ultimately meets the needs of all stakeholders.

The meeting was attended by H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy, President of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW); H.E. Håkan Emsgård, Ambassador of Sweden to Egypt; Ms. Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, and Mr. Eric Oechslin, Country Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for Egypt and Eritrea, and the Decent Work Team for North Africa.

The Ministry of Manpower confirmed that by participating in the programme to “Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine”, and by supporting the Gender Equality Unit, the Ministry’s plan was accordingly further expanded and amplified to cover directorates in the governorates of Egypt. The institutional capacities of the Unit’s personnel and branches, as well as labour inspectors, have been upgraded, and trainers have been prepared to cover the training needs of provincial directorates. Additionally, the Ministry is also supporting the issuance of the Gender Sensitivity Inspectors’ Manual, and is collaborating in the establishment of a website for the Equality Unit that should be launched soon.

Dr. Maya Morsy, said that “the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, approved by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt in 2017, includes the pillar of women’s economic empowerment, aiming to develop their capacities to expand their employment options, achieve equal opportunities in the employment of women in all sectors and increase their participation. NCW has developed policies supporting the role of women in the labor market such as the “Closing Gender Gap Accelerator” in cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the first model of its kind for public-private cooperation in Africa and the Middle East region. Facilitating women’s active participation in the economic life is an urgent priority on the national agenda, which requires well-formulated legislation and policies, innovative solutions and sustainable partnerships, as well as a shift in the general culture of institutions and in the mentality of both men and women.”

Speaking on behalf of UN Women, Ms. Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen highlighted that “by adopting a holistic approach to the programme’s implementation, UN Women builds on its expertise and global leadership for gender equality, and particularly within the area of women’s economic empowerment in the Arab States. In 2022, women’s employment and income-generation opportunities continue to be negatively affected by the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19: women have borne 41% of job losses in the Arab world even though they constitute less than 20% of the workforce on average. Advancing women’s employment, inclusion and economic access is considered a necessity and a critical steppingstone towards the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Concurrently, Mr. Eric Oechslin said “I am very pleased with the Joint Programme’s results, which prove how joint coalitions between UN offices that are guided by the support of our national partners and tripartite constituents are essential to promoting social justice and gender mainstreaming in workplaces. This joint effort presents itself as an opportunity to benefit women and men equally, and therefore inequality is not perpetuated. Essentially, and in return, the programme’s agenda will ultimately contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitment of “leaving no one behind”, which is relevant to the Organization’s social justice mandate and standard-setting agenda.” In his word, Mr. Oechslin emphasized that through this successful partnership, the ILO aligns itself with the needs and demands of constituents, as reflected in the gender-transformative interventions that aim to deliver structural and institutional changes needed in the world of work.

H.E. Håkan Emsgård, underscored that “Women represent 40 percent of the global labour force. Holding back gender equality simply means holding back development and prosperity”.

The Work4Women programme aims to achieve three interlinked and mutually supportive pillars of results; which are gender responsive labour laws and related policies that are in place and effective; a supported gender responsive private sector that attracts, retains and promotes women; and challenging gender stereotypes about women and men’s responsibilities concerning unpaid care and household work.

[1] The UNW/ ILO Joint Programme advocates for gender responsive labour laws and policies, a gender responsive private sector and the elimination of stereotypes around unpaid care and household work.

Women can receive free treatment at police hospitals until December 1st.

According to Youm7, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Ministry of the Interior decided to open police hospitals throughout the Republic to sign the medical examination of women from November 25 to December 1 on the evening of “5 – 8 p.m.,” with free treatment, by the “Human Rights – Medical Services” sectors and the National Council for Women.

In continuation of the Ministry of the Interior’s humanitarian approach, the “All One initiative” has restored Egyptians’ smiles by providing food to citizens at reduced prices by moving cars loaded with food so that they do not fall prey to the greed of some traders while providing food goods at reduced prices at the Ministry’s safety outlets, which are of high quality and low prices.

African Women’s and Climate Change Adaptation initiative was launched during COP27

According to al-Ahram online, During the Women’s Day activities at the COP27, the African Women’s and Climate Change Adaptation (AWCAP) initiative was launched. The initiative was launched in collaboration with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN-Women).

The initiative, according to Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW), provides Africa with the opportunity to achieve the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through women’s empowerment. This is to create synergy with existing mechanisms and platforms that help women. It is also intended to design Africa-specific interventions to support African women as active participants — like men — in equitable transition.

African women account for more than half of the continent’s population and are heavily reliant on environment-related livelihoods in sectors that are disproportionately climate-exposed, such as health, agriculture, livestock management, forestry, and water management. Climate change poses a significant risk to rural African women due to increased agricultural work and displacement caused by climate impact. Women and children account for 80% of those in need of assistance following natural disasters, and poor women are 14 times more likely to die during a natural disaster. The disadvantages that women face in their daily lives are exacerbated by climate change.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that it will take roughly 135 years to close the global gender gap. To design and implement effective adaptation strategies, it is imperative to capitalise on the win-win situation of bringing women into climate action.

According to the WEF, the wealth of knowledge in natural resource management that African women have accumulated is critical for implementing effective adaptation policies.

Women make up nearly 40% of the agricultural workforce in 46 of the 53 African countries. Women produce 70% of the continent’s food despite accounting for only 15% of landholders. Climate-sensitive cropping, seed selection and storage, bio fertiliser preparation, pest management, post-harvest processing and value addition are all skills that African women in local agriculture possess.

As a result, the AWCAP’s primary goals are to increase cooperation among African member states by establishing a link between women ministers and relevant environment ministers. This would be accomplished by bringing together a joint focus on women’s issues in the water, energy, and agriculture sectors. It will also aid in highlighting successful female role models and their leadership in those sectors, thereby encouraging member countries to include more women in decision-making.

This is in addition to increasing investments in capacity-building programmes to support women in various fields, beginning with education and progressing to the labour market, improving women’s access to financial support, and building their capacities to prepare investable climate projects. According to one initiative, this is critical for capitalising on existing public-private partnerships. It would be achieved by promoting institutional transformation models within private sector companies that work in relevant fields to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The climate change conference discusses women empowerment in the private sector and the role they play in achieving sustainability

During Gender Day Events

Dina Abdelfattah: The women empowerment process in Egypt sets a pioneering model.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton: Women represent 90% of small businesses, and supporting her participation in decision making is pivotal.

Harbeen Arora: 80% of CEO positions are taken over by men, and only 2% of the granted funds goes to women.

Roberto Suárez Santos: 70% of women in developing countries are unable to get any funding.

Franco Atassi: US companies run by women achieve 30% higher profit, compared to other companies.

Head of “Baseera” center: Women represent only 22% of the total workforce in Egypt.

Amira Saber: Women’s representation in the parliament is the highest in the parliament’s history.

November 15, 2022

The climate change conference “COP27” held a panel session headlined “Women empowerment in the private sector, and mitigating the negative impacts of the climate change.”, organized by the national council for women, on the sidelines of “Gender Day” in the COP27.

Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC) and “She Trades” Foundation, Franco Atassi, Head of Smart Infrastructure for Siemens in the Middle East, joined by Harbeen Arora, Founder of the Women Economic Forum (WEF) in India, and Dr. Magued Osman, CEO and Director of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), Amira Saber, member of the Egyptian Parliament, were all participant of this panel session run by Dina Abdelfattah, Founder and president of the exceedingly influential Top 50 Women Forum.

Dina Abdelfattah, Founder and president of the exceedingly influential Top 50 Women Forum, started by emphasizing the important role played by the private sector in facing the challenges of the climate change issues and in the areas of women empowerment, considering the private sector represents 80% of jobs worldwide.

She also clarified that the women empowerment process in Egypt sets a pioneering model, given that binding decisions have been issued by political leadership, which in turn enhanced the process of women empowerment in various sectors, which lead to the promotion of the women representation ratio in ministries, parliaments and other state sectors.

Additionally, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of “She Trades” Foundation has stressed the importance of supporting women participation in decision making, taking into consideration the high risks she faces in light of the climate change issues.

She continued, adding that women in developing countries face a lot of challenges in various fields, pointing out that women are at the center of the equation between presenting solutions or facing the consequences of the decisions already made.

She pointed out how the COP27 events are a testimony to the importance of adding sessions related to women and the private sector, considering that women represent 90% of small businesses.

In this regard, Harbeen Arora, the Founder Women Economic Forum, stated that woman is considered a key agent on cultures and nature-based activities. Hence, it is considered a top priority to focus on her issues on the top of all the agendas.

She added that women had been facing various challenges in several sectors, such as politics, as the presidential positions lacks justified female presentation. In economics, women only receive less than 2% of the granted fund, meanwhile men dominate 80% of the C-suit positions.

She added that the same inequality status remained in climate change, as women face discrimination and lack of trust in their roles.  Further, gender equality represents a major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Hence, we need to focus on capability building to accelerate achieving this goal, which should be kept as a priority in various sectors, such as poverty elimination, and climate action.

She also highlighted that the forum has been keenly exerting further efforts to achieve gender equality and preserving women’s rights.

On the other hand, Roberto Suárez Santos, IOE’s General Manager, discussed the importance of women’s role in IOE among 100 members from 140 countries.  He also referred to the progress achieved with regard to women empowerment driven by the efforts exerted over the last 100 years. He added that the organizations hadn’t been fully aware of the importance of harnessing women’s representation in their workforce.  Accordingly, no future success can be achieved.

He also stressed that gender equity in the workforce representation in several organizations is still far away to reach the targeted goal, as men are still dominating the workforce, compared to women. Thus, this necessitates taking women’s representation into consideration in the decision-making process.

With regard to the economies of the developing countries, almost 70% of women don’t receive sufficient finances.

Franco Atassi, the CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure in the Middle East, stated that women can be in leadership positions, as women hold leadership positions in 30% of the USA-based companies, which achieve profit rate 30% higher than the male -led companies.

He also stressed the importance of shifting the male – dominant culture, adding that the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments in the United Arab Emirates is up to 50%, stating that women’s various capabilities enable them to contribute in all sciences, such as climate change.

Dr. Magued Osman, the CEO of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research “Baseera”, highlighted that women’s representation in the workforce in in Egypt is up to 22%, referring to the importance of women’s economic empowerment and its impact on raising the growth rates, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable development.

He also affirmed that the education sector in Egypt has been witnessing a transition in favor of women, as studies show that women enjoy greater education opportunities, comparing to women.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s reports forecasted that gender equity in the workforce would lead to potential hike of 20%. Thus, climate change is a chance for women’s empowerment through creating new job opportunities for women in the future. Hence, women and girls must be qualified to hold climate-related positions in several sectors, including organic agriculture, electric transportation, and recycling. However, the social obstacles could be a barrier to achieving this. Yet, this status might change over time.

At the same context, Amira Saber, Egypt’s parliament member, stated that women’s parliamentary presentation recorded the highest rate ever. Further, a law was issued obliging the business owner to provide nursery care for the working women.

Speaking about climate change, women is considered the most vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, women can enjoy more employment opportunities in the future.