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Tag: Women Empowerment

Shelbaya: The “Amla shoghlaha” program is a promising step towards supporting and empowering women

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, PepsiCo Egypt held a graduation ceremony for the first batch of the “Amla Shoghlaha” program, in cooperation with Injaz Egypt. The program launched last March, aiming to change the traditional approach to the process of hiring women in the private sector, in addition to increasing their representation in male-dominated jobs such as sales, operations, and factories.
For his part, Mohamed Shelbaya, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, said: “I am proud of what we are witnessing today of the culmination of our efforts and the efforts of the participants in the “Amla Shoghlaha” program, which constituted a bright mark in the company’s long history in supporting and empowering women, and today we allow the 50 participants who reached the finals with training opportunities within the company in Egypt and providing an opportunity for employment in the company to those who excel.
Dina Al-Mufti, founder of INJAZ Egypt, said: “INJAZ Egypt is proud of implementing the job worker program, which achieved great success among a distinguished group of recent graduates, as we were able to qualify girls to enter the labor market in various jobs that are predominantly male, and thus grant Graduates the opportunity to prove themselves. This program reflects our vision of youth empowerment and is a big step towards achieving that goal.”
C.D. Glenn, President of the PepsiCo Foundation – the charitable arm of PepsiCo, said: “The Foundation focuses on achieving community development and providing all available means of support, especially women as an important member of society, that’s why most of our programs in the Middle East and North Africa focus on community development. We were keen to provide our greatest amount of support for the “Amla Shoghlaha” program in considering the capabilities and qualifications that Egyptian women possess, which help them excel with merit, and this is what I have already witnessed in the participants of the program during the training camp. We are currently studying the successful community development model that was applied in Egypt so that we can replicate the same model with the same effect in other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, in order to develop and expand our programs and improve the lives of a greater number of beneficiaries.”
It is worth mentioning that the implementation of the “Amla Shoghlaha” program was divided into four phases. In the first phase, 600 female students, selected from public universities and different governorates, participated and were provided with basic skills to qualify them for the labor market. Then, 300 female students were selected to be trained practically and technically on mechanisms and skills for the labor market and prepare them for the third stage, the filtration of 150 female participants.

Kamla Abou Zekry receives the “Faten Hamama Award of Excellence” at the 44th CIFF

Egyptian filmmaker and television director, Kamla Abou Zekry, has successfully paved the road for women’s empowerment through her work on television and cinema. Her work served as a platform to vocalize the hardships and inconveniences that Egyptian women face on daily basis.

The 4 times director’s projects frequently resemble diversity and women empowerment, constantly calling for social change.

As an advocate for women’s rights, she’s always keen on displaying the unfiltered reality of Egyptian women, showcasing gender-based abuse and mental illness, among other equally important issues. Her stories of struggling women are always well-received and praised by the public.

Born into an artistic family, she had the opportunity to work with many talented directors in the industry. She worked as a co-director on movies like Nader Galal’s “Bellya w Dmagho El Alya” and “Hello America,” among other great projects.

On top of that, she directed he first short film Qatr El Saa’a El Sadesain 1999, before becoming the idolized director of popular shows like “Bent esmaha Zat, 2013,” “Segn El Nessa, 2014,” and most recently “Betlou’ El Rouh, 2022.”

During the 44th run of the Cairo International Film Festival, Kamla was granted the “Faten Hamama Award of Excellence” to commemorate outstanding efforts.

Kamla Abou Zekry considerably reshaped the industry, through her amazing projects. Her influential films were screened in both local, and international film festivals, including “Cairo International Film Festival,” “Dubai International Film Festival,” the “Venice Film Festival,” and “Cannes Film Festival.”

 

Mapping of existing business cases to support women’s roles in drought resilience building

When a drought strikes, it is clear that women’s lives are the most affected and disrupted, particularly in Africa. This is because women play a critical role in providing necessities like food and water during droughts. Women are thus inextricably linked to both the destruction and conservation of the natural environment, as well as the development of drought resilience.

From September 25th to September 30th, 2022, Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa (GWPEA) carried out a mapping exercise of existing business cases to support the role of women, including vulnerable groups, in building drought resilience under the IDMP program. The Horn of Africa Integrated Drought Management Program (IDMP) promotes drought resilience in the region’s countries, communities, and ecosystems.

It is part of the global IDMP Program, which was launched in Geneva in March 2013 at the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

There are four existing business case studies that support the role of women in building drought resilience in the Karamoja region. These Included; Surviving the drought crisis: Kangole women empowerment groups; Women Take Lead In Enhancing Food Security: The Mother Care Group Model; Women as key players in settlement community-based development Initiatives; Empowering women with skills in the construction of energy saving technologies and planting of wood lots under EURECCCA; One innovative and replicable business case study “ surviving the drought crisis: Kangol Women Empowerment Group Led Initiative” was identified for further analysis and potential development with a possibility of being disseminated widely in the next phase.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, 2022

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is annually celebrated on the 19th of November, to honor, empower and help businesswomen eliminate poverty. Despite the crucial role women play in the economic and social well-being of their communities, they are yet to be equally included in meaningful participation in the economy, according to the US Department of state. Around 2.4 million women of working age worldwide, are not presented with equal economic opportunity, and this must change.

To achieve gender equality, and peace, among other crucial development outcomes, we must first reach women’s economic empowerment, which enables them to contribute to their communities’ health and education, and by extension alleviate poverty.

We could substantially improve the living standards of close to 388 million women and girls, which were estimated to be experiencing extreme poverty in 2022, only by empowering women economically; and in doing so, we will also succeed in sustaining just and harmonious societies. Sadly, we barely achieve half the global average of women’s meaningful participation in public administration in fragile and conflict-affected countries; this results in diminishing peace and hinders women’s participation in the economy. Moreover, women play a major part in post-conflict recovery, as they are more likely to spend their incomes on family needs and largely partake in conflict recovery.

Economic empowerment for women and girls will result in increasing protection of natural resources, eliminating gender-based violence “GBV”, as well as attaining better educational and health outcomes. Considering that poverty is highly associated with gender-based violence, which negatively affects women’s participation in the economy, it is vital to empower women economically to reduce GBV.

Frequent gender-based violence holds back women’s participation in the economy, considering the strong link between the two, GBV and economic empowerment should simultaneously be targeted by national and international policies to ensure the greatest positive impact for women worldwide.

It’s a well-known fact that the climate crisis has a more significant effect on women and girls in all their diversity, but it has an even more dramatic impact on women in poor and marginalized areas, who face bigger problems, such as droughts or floods.

Furthermore, the representation of women in climate leadership roles and international climate negotiations, is majorly lacking, compared to their efforts in mitigating the crisis, as they bear unproportioned responsibilities for unpaid care and domestic work, in addition to spending an estimated 2.5 times more time on unpaid care work than men.

What’s more is that 35% of women, don’t even have access to bank accounts, and are only presented with three quarters of the legal rights already available to men.

All these gender-based restrictions, lower access to productive resources, and legal discrimination, on top of being subjected to GBV, limit their economic participation. These issues need to be addressed.

In agreement, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues urged expanding the economic participation of women, which is beneficial to reaching a fruitful, conflict-free, and sustainable world. For that reason, the US department announced its plan to participate in these efforts, via 2 flagship programs.

The first program is, Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE), a global association including over 40 organizations, which aims to eliminate women’s issues, conflict, GBV, and economic insecurity. It works on enhancing women’s rights, with the help of local civil society organizations.

While the second is the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), which mainly focuses on guiding and funding women entrepreneurs and giving them direct access to domestic and international markets.

Taking quick actions to fulfill a safe environment and equal participation opportunities in the economy, must be treated as a top priority by the US government, in collaboration with other governments and all private sectors, globally.

 

Empowering Women with Skills for Excellence

The Peak Performer Africa, a platform promoting positive insights for achieving peak performance, has empowered women in Lagos State with the essential skills to attain excellence in their space.

The panelists charged every woman in Nigeria to eschew self-limiting beliefs and be the better version of themselves to achieve peak performance at the inaugural edition of The Peak Performing Woman Interactive Session, which was held in the Victoria Island area of Lagos on the theme, “Overcoming Self-limiting Beliefs,” powered by The Peak Performer Africa.

Nike Bajomo, Executive Director of StanbicIBTC Pensions Ltd; Titi Oguntuga, Head of Sustainability and Brand of Lafarge Africa Plc; Biodun Mamora, Executive Director of Finance, Kaiser Ltd; and Doris Okechukwu Mbadiwe, Deputy Managing Director, Inter-Bau Construction Ltd, were among the panellists.

The initiative, according to Bajomo, is extremely significant in “the space that we are in Africa and Nigeria.” “This is because the way we are brought up, the way we are configured, our background, culture speak a lot to how we develop women,” she emphasized.

According to Bajomo, a woman can be a visionary. “A woman can be her best self and, as they say, ‘do whatever a man can do.’ We need to hear it more and more as women. After all, we are products of our upbringings, traditions, and experiences.”

While admitting that it would take time for women to unwind and unlearn some of the things they had previously learned or come to believe, Bajomo added, “Belief in yourself first.” You’ll make a mess of yourself if you don’t believe in yourself, even if others do. Choose to pursue the best, your vision for yourself.”

Oguntuga quickly tipped her hat to the initiative. “It is one of the credible platforms that women can use to gain more knowledge, insight, and tips on how to be peak-performing women.” Peak performance affects every aspect of their lives, including relationships, work, career, and business. It pushes them to the point of self-actualization.”

Mamora, for her part, listed self-limiting beliefs such as “I’m not good enough,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I don’t have enough qualifications,” and “Why should I try again after being rejected the last time?”

According to her, these beliefs range from internal to external factors regarding one’s aspirations and could be from anyone including teachers or parents. “As panelists, we shared some of our experiences and ideas on how we have overcome some of these things because I think it’s general. Everybody, at some point, had those kinds of beliefs, but it’s the ability to overcome them that makes you a peak performing woman.”

While acknowledging that these challenges differ from one woman to the next, Mamora believes that once a woman recognizes the self-limiting beliefs that are plaguing her, she can reinforce a positive belief. “And forums like this will assist you in breaking free.

The Peak Performing Women Series is on the quest to impact every woman, encouraging them to put their right foot forward, starting with one woman at a time.

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.

COP 27: Women and climate champions address gender equity and access to finance

With women representing 80% of the global population displaced by climate change, it seemed inevitable for policymakers to discuss ways to provide a network of support for women as key contributors to the world’s economy who are most impacted by climate challenges. The Gender thematic day at this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP27) hosted in Sharm El Sheikh, featured invaluable panels gathering women leaders, active entrepreneurs and policy makers to address gender gaps and find the best solutions to mitigate the unintended negative impacts of climate change.

A panel organised by Banque Misr, one of Egypt’s longest standing and largest banks, and moderated by Sue Barrett, Director, Head of Infrastructure for Turkey , Middle East and Africa at EBRD, brought together key policy leaders including Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion, Dr. Maya Morsy, President of National Council for Women, Cassilde Breniere, COO at AFD, Heike Harmgart, SEMED Managing Director at EBRD, Burcu Karpuz, Regional Director at Finance in Motion, Amy Luinstra, Acting Country Manager Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos – IFC, Mohamed Eletreby, Chairman of Banque Misr, and Rawya Mansour, green woman SME entrepreneur.

Highlighting the role of women as the primary caregivers and household leaders in many of the cases, the speakers explored ways in which finance can lead to the empowerment of these women, shielding them against climate vulnerabilities and socially driven ones.

Presenting an outstanding model that combines gender equity as a byproduct of climate action, Egyptian entrepreneur Rawya Mansour said that “Traditionally, women were not allowed to own lands and were not paid an equal wage to men working in farming. They were brought by an agent who received a percentage of their wage. Falling completely under the control of such an imbalanced system, women were left vulnerable and unable to gain property or improve their living conditions.”

“Through our work at Ramsco Egypt,” Rawya explained, “we managed over time to employ these women farmers directly, empowering women who were otherwise left in an unprivileged situation of divorce and prevalent early marriage. These women are now being paid equally to the men, and able to support their families, producing 40 to 80% of entire agricultural crops produced.”

In addition to her organic farming ventures for which she received two patents, Rawya is starting a foundation with the sole purpose of capacity building in her micro community. “We’re working on capacity building and convincing decision makers to bring in support and offer land propriety via banks and micro loans to women working in the fields. We offered to provide the seeds and organic fertilisers to women in order to enable them to secure better conditions for themselves while reclaiming plain plots of desert-land.”

Named one of Africa’s most influential leaders in 2019, Rawya is a pioneer of organic farming who has led the early efforts of producing “bio char” or green carbon for use in eco-friendly farming. Her company’s produce of soil enhancers has also obtained a patent as well as a European license for export, not to mention providing a non-chemical and cheaper alternative to exported fertilisers particularly during the Ukraine war. The leading biomaterial is known to decrease the consumption of water by 30 to 60% depending on the irrigation method employed.

Ensuring capacity building, improving land property among women, and providing micro finance opportunities, Ramsco Egypt has enabled farmers, especially women, to connect to the wider global network of producers, benefiting both themselves, their families in addition to pushing forward the greater climate cause.

Commenting on the panel’s content and intertwined connection between gender and climate action, Rawya said that “Combining food security and fighting climate change are in perfect harmony with the development of land, afforestation, and the advancement of women’s economic conditions. As with all development issues, one cannot happen without the other.”

The panels and fireside talks taking place on the sidelines of COP27 presented endless opportunities for partnerships and insightful discussions around women, water, finance and their connection to climate change. To find out more about the packed agenda of the conference, visit the UN’s dedicated page.

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.

At COP27, Our Climate Future is Female: A Progress Report on Implementing U.S. Efforts to Advance Women and Girls’ Climate Action

On November 14, 2022, Gender Day at COP27, the U.S. government is proud to announce the following strategies, initiatives, and programs addressing the disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis on women and girls and empowering women and girls as climate leaders:

Strategies & Initiatives

  • U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally: The forthcoming update to the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally will, for the first time, incorporate intersections between gender-based violence, climate change, and the environment. The Strategy will be released later this year. (White House)
  • White House Guidance for Federal Agencies and Departments on Indigenous Knowledge: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) will be previewing the first-ever government-wide guidance on how U.S. federal agencies can better recognize and apply Indigenous Knowledge (also known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge) in their work, including work related to climate change. The guidance will acknowledge gender disparities in climate impacts and the important role that Indigenous Knowledge can play in assessing and addressing the climate crisis. (White House)
  • USAID’s Commitment to Gender-Responsive Climate Action: USAID is dedicating more than $21 million to gender-responsive climate action from the Gender Equity and Equality Action (GEEA) Fund, surpassing its $14 million COP26 commitment. This includes a suite of commitments in support of gender and climate change, including scaling women’s access to green jobs, in partnership with the Department of Energy, advancing women’s economic security through promoting women’s land rights, and several landmark activities detailed in the “Programming” section below.
  • Empowering Girl Climate Leaders & Activists: The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues will initiate a global network of girls working to lead climate solutions in their communities and advocate for climate policies and action both locally and internationally. (Department of State)
  • Women in Energy Strategy: The Bureau of Energy Resources recently announced the official launch of the Women in Energy Strategy that the Department of State is piloting with the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.  The strategy engages local energy officials, utilities, private companies, and educational and research bodies to increase women’s access to energy sector opportunities.  The Bureau of Energy Resources will soon launch the strategy globally. (Department of State)

Programming

  • Egyptian Pioneers Program ($23 million): USAID is spurring climate action by investing in education and skills building for women and youth. USAID has made a $23 million initial investment in the new nine-year Egyptian Pioneers program that aims to build a more inclusive and capable Egyptian workforce, with an emphasis on sectors with the potential to contribute to climate goals such as environment and energy. (USAID)
  • Climate Gender Equity Fund ($6 million): Through its Climate Finance Development Accelerator (CFDA), USAID announces the creation of its new Climate Gender Equity Fund, which will leverage private sector funding to scale climate finance that advances gender-equitable climate action. Launched through a five-year partnership with Amazon, with initial seed funding of $6 million, the fund will leverage public and private sector investment to increase access to climate finance for women-led climate organizations, and businesses that advance gender-equitable climate solutions in least developed countries. (USAID)
  • Advancing Women in the Environment ($3.3 million): Through its Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), USAID is providing grants to organizations working to address gender-based violence in climate sectors through the Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Environment (RISE) Challenge. Additionally, AGENT is supporting national governments to develop action plans, building on their national climate plans, to address climate-related gender inequality. (USAID)
  • Climate Change and Women in STEM in the Indo-Pacific Region ($1.5 million): Supported by the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, this project seeks to increase women’s participation in the clean energy workforce globally through policy dialogues and small grants, ultimately empowering women as leaders in tackling the climate crisis and transitioning to a net-zero emission energy future. (Department of State)
  • Inclusive Action for Climate Change ($1.5 million): Inclusive Action for Climate Change is a funding opportunity from the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs that uses the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda to address the twin themes of women’s participation and climate crisis adaptation. The project seeks to strengthen the capacity of women-led organizations in Bangladesh, Maldives, and Nepal to participate in political discussions regarding national and local policies on climate change; advance the role of women in community resolution of conflicts arising from climate change and its effects; and assist women-led organizations to advocate for and achieve gender equity and equality in climate change adaptation efforts. (Department of State)
  • Empowering Women in Sustainable Energy in Indonesia: ($422,000): USAID’s Sustainable Energy for Indonesia’s Advancing Resilience (SINAR) is empowering women across the sustainable energy sector through partnerships with universities, the Renewable Energy Directorate (EBTKE) in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), Indonesia’s national power utility (PLN), and Indonesia’s oil and gas company, Pertamina. These partnerships will support the integration of gender equality and social inclusion across the sector and to empower women to be agents of change in Indonesia’s transition to low-carbon energy sources. (USAID)
  • Central Africa Women’s Initiative for Climate Action (WICA) ($150,000): Designed to strengthen capacity and increase participation of early-career women in the national climate change processes of Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo, the WICA initiative is funded in part by the SilvaCarbon Program, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and jointly financed by the U.S. Department of State and USAID. Over 100 women have participated in a series of workshops about climate change science, greenhouse gas accounting, the social and economic impacts of the climate crisis, climate finance, and national and international climate policy. (Department of State)
  • Pacific Regional Women in Energy Conference & Clean Energy Workshop ($65,000): The Bureau of Energy Resources, Embassy Suva, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) co-hosted a Pacific Regional Women in Energy and Clean Energy Workshop for approximately 80 participants from across the region. The events engaged local energy officials, utilities, private companies, and educational and research bodies to commit to the institutional changes, policies, and practices that will increase women’s access to energy sector opportunities and promote clean energy transition in the region.  The conference concluded with the election of a regional steering committee that will oversee implementation of SPC’s three-year Pacific Energy Gender Strategic Action Plan (PEGSAP), which was also officially launched at the event. (Department of State)
  • Clean Energy Ministerial Equality Initiative New Ambassador Cohort ($70,000): The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)’s Equality in Energy Transitions Initiative’s Ambassadors Program aims to have at least 4-6 new ambassadors to announce by COP27. Nominations will continue past COP27 with an aim to reach further ambassadors outside of the Equality Initiative membership. (Department of Energy)

Maat Reviews Egypt’s UPR Mid-Term Report Remarking Positive Updates on Women Empowerment File

Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights held today, Friday, September 30, 2022, a symposium entitled Human Rights in Egypt: In the Light of the UPR Mid-Term Report’, at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, on the sidelines of

the activities of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council. The symposium was attended by several representatives of international missions, civil society organizations as well as human rights experts, and media professionals participating in the 51st session of the Council, which kicked off on September 12 and will continue until October 7, 2022.

During the symposium, Maat presented the report it prepared, which monitored and documented the human rights situation in Egypt over the past two and a half years, precisely since the UPR 3rd Cycle, from November 2019 until June 2022. By presenting the report, Maat seeks to assess the progress made in the implementation of the commitments that the government has voluntarily accepted, highlight the commitments that have not yet been implemented so far, and provide a set of recommendations to the Egyptian government.

The report indicated that Egypt has made progress in some files, especially about civil and political rights, given the launch of the national strategy for human rights, the initiation of the National Dialogue, the reactivation of the Presidential

Pardon Committee, the near closure of Case no. 173 of 2011, known as the “NGO Foreign Funding Case”, and the issuance of Associations Law and its implementing regulations. With regard to the political empowerment of youth, the report indicated that the state has taken commendable steps in this regard, 60% of the newly appointed leaderships, which number is 39 governors and deputy governors, are youth.

During the symposium, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and President of Maat, said that the main objective of establishing the UPR mechanism is to help governments improve human rights conditions and to engage civil society in the process of implementing the recommendations voluntarily accepted by the government. This process would strengthen the relationship between state institutions and civil society institutions, and allow both parties to work seamlessly hand in hand to achieve a shared objective; that is developing a national plan to promote human rights situation, such as the National Strategy for Human Rights launched by the government in September 2021.

Okeil stressed that there is still an opportunity to fulfill the remaining pledges to improve the human rights situation in Egypt. However, this is only possible through the concerted efforts between the executive, legislative and judicial authorities and the national human rights bodies and civil society organizations so that these recommendations are implemented on the ground through the implementation of the axes of the national strategy, which aims to advance human rights in Egypt.

For her part, Nourhan Mustafa, Director of the International Humanitarian Law Unit at Maat, pointed out that the file of men’s rights in Egypt has witnessed positive developments in recent years, especially concerning women’s empowerment and their participation in political life, in conjunction with the endeavors to promote gender equality at the practical levels, by restructuring the institutional and policy framework to ensure eliminating discrimination against women and promoting gender equality. Women’s rights were among the priorities of the national strategy for the empowerment of Egyptian women, among other strategies to combat violence against women, and female genital mutilation and prevent human trafficking.

During the symposium, Roberto Caputo, an Italian researcher and member of the Peacemakers Forum, presented the pillars of the recommendations made to Egypt and the underlying themes. Furthermore, he stressed that the UPR helps implement the sustainable development goals, as the primary goal of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and all its bodies and mechanisms, including the review mechanism, in ensuring the implementation of the sustainable development goals in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.