Women’s Economic, Social Empowerment Program Baseline Dissemination Event Launches: Baseline Insights and Findings

In recognition of “Women’s History Month”, dedicated to empowering women and in celebration of the International Day of Women on March 8th and the Egyptian Women’s Day on March 16th, the Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment Program funded by USAID and implemented by Pathfinder International in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW) and Program implementing partner Baseera held the “Baseline Insights and Recommendations” event.

USAID’s Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment Program is designed to engage, leverage, and partner with the private sector as well as public social service initiatives to encourage women’s participation in the workforce; generate demand for financial services; promote tailored, market-based solutions to women’s economic empowerment; and strengthen violence against women prevention and response, such that women become more economically and socially resilient.

Featuring keynote speeches by H.E. Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Ms. Margaret Sancho, Deputy Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt, Mr. Khaled Bassiouny General Manager, Financial Inclusion Central Bank of Egypt, and Dr. Magued Osman CEO of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research, BASEERA.

Ms. Margaret Sancho, Deputy Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development USAID Deputy Mission stated in her speech: At USAID, we firmly believe that sustainable development is only possible by embracing the contributions of all members of society.

Equality for women is key to unlocking Egypt’s full potential. And that’s why we are always proud to partner with the Government of Egypt to build a more inclusive future for all Egyptians.

USAID’s Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment Program believes in the power of informed decision-making. Developing interventions driven by the true needs of women. The baseline study presented data collected across three major target sectors: Ready Made Garments, Retail, and Agribusiness. Speakers presented the main findings revealed by the study, challenges, recommendations, and how they reflect on the Program’s interventions.

For her part, Dina Kafafi, Chief of Party, Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment Program said: The Program provides a comprehensive model across objectives; to enhance the work environment for women in the private sector, expand financial inclusion, and reduce the socioeconomic impact of violence against women the results of the baseline contribute to well-planned interventions, addressing real needs.

Organon Egypt Signs Letter of Intent with “Momken” Platform for Her to Promote Women in Various Sectors

In honor of International Women’s Day, Organon Egypt, a global healthcare company with a focus on improving the health of women, and Momken for Her, a startup focusing on entry and reentry into the workforce of women over the age of 30, signed a Letter of Intent aiming to enhance women’s empowerment and advancement in a variety of sectors.

Signing the LOI were Dr. Tarek Abou El Einein, the Country Lead at Organon Egypt, and Abeer El Leithy, Co-Founder at Momken for Her. Following the signing, a panel discussion took place to discuss investments in sectors related to women’s empowerment, including education, economy, and health. The panel featured distinguished guests, including Nadia Gamal Eldin, founder and CEO of Rahet Bally Co, Yasmin Medhat, founder of Bazarna Society, as well as Basmah Osman, Managing Partner at Fekrkhan (ElleKhan Division). The discussion also shed light on how investing in women’s health, education, and employment could raise the quality of services women receive.

During the panel discussion, the success stories of several prominent female entrepreneurs in various sectors were presented as inspiring examples. These stories served as an inspiration to encourage investment in projects that cater to the needs of women, as many such businesses have not received the necessary funds despite the significant growth of investments in health in the Middle East and North Africa region. In fact, globally, only 1% of healthcare research and innovation is invested in conditions unique to women, according to a 2020 study.

The signing of the agreement was attended by Dr. Nadia Jamal El-Din, founder and CEO of the “Rahat Bali” platform, Yasmine Medhat, founder of Bazarna, and Basma Othman, managing partner of the Khan project.


UN: Technology, innovation, and Education in Digital Age Have a Significant Impact on Accelerating Gender Equality

The 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls, and their human rights, successfully closed its two-week long session last Saturday (6 to 17 March) with the acknowledgment of the critical role of technology and innovation in achieving gender equality, according to the “UN Women” website.

The agreed conclusions adopted by Member States provide a blueprint for all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, and youth to promote the full and equal participation and leadership of women and girls in the design, transformation, and integration of digital technologies and innovation processes that fulfill the human rights and needs of women and girls.

In conclusion of the negotiations, UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, said: “This year’s Agreed Conclusions are game-changing and bring forward our vision of a more equal and connected world for women and girls in all their diversity. It is our job, as we leave here today, to translate them into reality. The ultimate success of these Agreed Conclusions lies beyond their finalization today, in how we will collectively take them forward.

Egypt Took Remarkable Strides in Women Empowerment

A member of the National Council for Women and rapporteur of the council’s Political Participation Committee, Sana al-Saeed, said that women’s empowerment in Egypt witnessed an unprecedented boom locally and internationally over the past few years.

The 2014 constitution entails 20 supporting articles, and the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030 was launched in parallel with a women’s observatory established to ensure the follow-up of its implementation.

During her participation in the conference on women’s human rights between reality and aspirations, Saeed said that women represent a prime pillar in both the national strategy for human rights and the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030.

She indicated that Egypt took the lead as the first country to issue a policy paper on responding to the special needs of women and girls during the coronavirus pandemic and launched a mechanism to monitor the implementation of these policies.

She added that Egypt also ranked first in the Middle East, West Asia, and the Arab region in the report of the United Nations Women and the United Nations Development Program on measures to support women during the pandemic.

Women Participation Makes Saudi Arabia Fastest Growing Country in G20

The world credit rating agency S&P Global Rating has raised Saudi Arabia’s long- and short-term credit rating in local and foreign currency to A/A-1, with a stable outlook according to the “Zawya” website.

In a report, S&P states that this rating resulted in the Kingdom’s efforts in achieving remarkable reforms that it had made during the previous year, achieving structural improvements, in addition to its contribution to supporting the sustainable growth of the non-oil sector.

The agency, moreover, lauded its efforts to manage public finances and maintain a balanced level of public debt.

It has been stated that the powerful growth of the GDP by 8.7% in 2022 is the highest growth rate among the G20 countries.

The agency expects the economic growth to be stable during the upcoming years 2023-2026, by 2.6%, with an average GDP per capita of $31,500, which represents higher levels than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

S&P expected that the non-oil sector will remain powerful until 2026, and this is due to the growth of the services sector supported by the ongoing social reforms, as well as to women’s participation in the economy.

The continued growth will be witnessed alongside the continuation of the financial surplus until 2024 after it reached 2.5% of GDP in 2022.

S&P report described the inflation in Saudi Arabia as relatively low, compared to its peers, while expecting it will be brought under control due to the efforts of Saudi Arabia’s leadership in subsidizing fuel and food, in addition to pegging the currency to the US dollar.

It is noteworthy that Moody’s has rated Saudi Arabia at A1 with an outlook modified from stable to positive.

This rating resulted from the continued efforts of Saudi Arabia’s government to develop financial policy and regulatory reforms.

Moody’s report pointed out that the rating also came as a result of the comprehensive regulatory and economic structural reforms,

This will support the sustainability of economic diversification in the medium and long term, as well as reforms and investments in various non-hydrocarbon sectors.

Women Professionals Summit 2023 Sheds Light on Golden Decade for Attaining Success in Women’s Lives

The activities of the Woman Professionals Summit in its second edition 2023 shed light on the age of women, who are between 25 and 35 years old, highlighting that this period represents the utmost importance for women who want to create their own experiences, build their careers and enable the mind to work with greater capacity to achieve goals, which showed that standing on the stories of successful women at this age represents practical lessons that must be listened to.

The Woman Professional Summit was launched under the auspices of Prime Minister Dr. Mustafa Madbouly and organized by the Top 50 forum headed by the media figure Dina Abdel-Fattah and in partnership with the National Council for Women and Amwal Al-Ghad magazine.

The fifth session of the conference included Hadeer Shalaby, Executive Director of Talabat, and Fatma El Shenawy, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Khazna, and Ahella El Saban, Co-founder & CCO Exits MENA platform for the investment services market, and Dalia Laz Founder of “Esorus” to connect suppliers and designers in the field of decoration and architecture, and the session moderator was Nelly Mahmoud, Chief Communication Officer & Head of Youth Beyond Banking & Financial Inclusions at EGbank.

In this context, Hadeer Shalaby said that these years are of utmost importance for women who want to create their own experiences and build their careers, noting that successful models motivate others to achieve their goals because they represent practical lessons for current generations.

She continued during the second edition of the Woman Professionals Summit 2023-Top 50 forum under the title (Empowering Women…Egypt’s Strength and Future), that respect for women in the labor market has increased, during the recent period, while respecting their decisions and management also in companies.

On her part, Fatma El Shenawy confirmed that women go through many stages in their lives that put them in front of two options, either to go through the experience with its risks to prove themselves in the labor market, or to retreat without achieving that.

While Dalia Laz confirmed that the current period is witnessing an increase in global focus on enhancing women’s representation and participation in all fields, with great support.

Laz also assured the importance of women getting the advantage of this focus, support, and seizing the available opportunities, not only that but also working hard to prove their worth, pointing out that women can do more than one job and also love the challenge.

She reviewed her experience in moving from working for an engineering company to being an entrepreneur, saying that at the beginning of her professional life, she began working in an engineering entity to gain practical experience before taking the step of launching her own business.

Laz indicated that there is a difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur, explaining that the idea of entrepreneurship is based on an unconventional idea to find solutions to problems facing society, while the business owner doesn’t know the needs of the market.

She noted that she worked on herself, started from scratch, and joined entrepreneurship programs, that’s why she was able to launch a platform that brings together all suppliers and designers in the field of decoration and architecture.

In the same context, Ahella El Saban said that women in Egypt have all the ingredients to become entrepreneurs in many fields, despite some obstacles, such as social pressures on women requiring them to reconcile between family and work commitments.

Al-Sabban added that women were suffering to obtain some financing for their startup companies’ expansions, as investment funds used to put only about 2% of the value of the fund to finance companies that are based on the female component due to the high-risk rate.

Al-Sabban mentioned that Exit’s platform has changed this idea for many investors through the ability to provide studies and advisory services for companies with a female component in all financial services, mergers, and acquisitions to urge them to various expansions….

Minister of Planning: Women Represent 30% of Winners of Egypt Government Excellence Award

Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Hala El-Said, stated that the activities of the awards ceremony for the third round of the Egypt Award for Government Excellence witnessed the honoring of a number of state institutions and an elite group of distinguished Egyptian cadres who excelled at their work.

El-Said added, during her speech at the ceremony, that the honor comes as a culmination of efforts to improve work, raise the efficiency of institutions, and contribute to providing distinguished services that meet the aspirations and satisfaction of citizens, in a way that enhances the state’s efforts to achieve the broader, more comprehensive goal of improving the quality of life for the Egyptian citizen.

The minister pointed out that this year’s celebration coincides with the five years since the signing of the cooperation agreement in the field of developing government work between the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future in the United Arab Emirates.

She further explained that the signing of this agreement came to enhance the joint ties between the two countries and to develop procedures and strengthen institutional capacities through the exchange of expertise, experiences, and best practices in the areas of developing government services, institutional performance, and capacity building between the two countries.


WPS: Maya Morsi Expects Women’s Participation Rate in Parliament to Reach 40%

During the Women Professionals Summit, held on Sunday, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Dr. Maya Morsi, said she expects the next session of the House of Representatives will witness an increase in the participation rate of women from 28% to 40%.

Morsi made her remarks during the ministerial session, Iconic Success of an Egyptian Women at Women Professionals Summit (WPS), taking place in Cairo, under the auspices of Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

The Egyptian official added: We currently have a significantly bigger women representation in the Egyptian Parliament of up to 28%, compared to only 2% in 2012, but there’s always room for improvements.

She added that during the past decade, Egyptians had witnessed many changes in the Egyptian state concerning the status of women and their access to all places, as there are women who hold the position of governor, and 31% of Conservative MPs are women.

In her speech, Morsi noted that it is possible to reach 50% of women in government positions, stressing that this is not far from the Egyptian will. She went on to explain that if women’s labor participation rate matched that of men, Egypt’s GDP would increase by 34%.

The Minister finally stressed that under the current leadership of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, there is no limit to dreams, noting that the council is currently going to the governorates to provide a database of young women who can become leaders.

Dina Abdel Fattah Gives Opening Speech at 2nd Women Professionals Summit

During the 2nd edition of the Women Professionals Summit (WPS), which kicked off on Sunday, March 12, at the Nile-Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dina Abdel Fattah, Founder of the Top 50 Women Forum, gave the opening speech.

Abdel Fattah stated that this year’s event stands for empowering women through their life journeys, whether they decided to start professional careers or become housewives, adding that Egyptian women are the core of society, and how crucial the role they play in supporting the country’s status regionally and globally.

In her speech, she expressed her pride in the forum’s major role in empowering women, saying: I am genuinely proud to witness the progress of the Top 50 Women Forum since its inception seven years ago; I did not expect this forum would encompass this huge number of influential and powerful, Egyptian women across all sectors.

Regarding the selection process of this year’s most influential women, Abdel Fattah mentioned that the forum received 120 nominees’ applications in the first stage, but ended up choosing only 30 winners.

She further explained that several ministers were monitoring this year’s selection process, which encouraged the forum to raise the bar and upgrade the standards of receiving the prestigious award.

Conrad Cairo Hotel Launches Initiative to Support Domestically Abused Women

In a new step aimed at supporting Egyptian women, Conrad Cairo Hotel launched an initiative to alleviate the suffering of domestically abused women by preparing and distributing some meals to them in various rehabilitation centers and women’s shelters across Cairo, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

This initiative comes from Conrad Cairo’s belief in the community and service role, especially towards Egyptian women, and its belief that domestically abused women in Egyptian society needs psychological and moral support to support them and integrate them into society to continue their pivotal role in life.

Ismail Serry, General Manager of Conrad Cairo Hotel, said that the initiative to support abused women sought help from several famous chefs and influencers on social media, who also encouraged their followers to participate in supporting abused women with different types of food.

Also, Dr. Noha Bakr, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, was invited, to an awareness speech to the employees about the importance of equality between men and women and the crises women face in Egyptian society.

It is noteworthy that the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls within societies is a well-established goal of the sustainable development goals to achieve equal opportunities, and supporting Egyptian women is an essential part of the Egyptian government’s approach.

The National Council succeeded in providing the “Houses for Domestically Abused Women” service, which is one of the rehabilitative services to provide psychological care for domestically abused women and support them; statistically, one out of every 3 women in the world is exposed to violence in her life.

Conrad Cairo Hotel is an important landmark on the Nile River in the heart of the bustling Egyptian capital. It is a 5-star hotel with a variety of restaurants such as Kamala, which serves the finest Pan Asian food, Jayda, which offers the most delicious oriental middle eastern food, Solana, which is the best choice for eating with a view overlooking the Nile, Stage One Bar & Lounge that gives its guests an unforgettable night, and Oak, which takes you on a guided tour among the most delicious Italian dishes.