Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation’s partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners have enhanced national efforts to empower women, protect them from all forms of violence, and allow them to contribute to economic growth.
This came during H.E.’s speech in the closing of the program to end violence against women and girls, organized by UN Women, in the presence of Mrs. Nevin Al- Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity; Dr. Maya Morsi, President of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW); Ms. Nicole Champaign, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Cairo; and Ms. Christine Arab, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt; along with representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the Egyptian Public Prosecution.
The Minister of International Cooperation indicated that Egypt, under the leadership of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has given priority to women’s issues, as expressed in the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030; placing women’s empowerment at the heart of sustainable development efforts through economic, social and political opportunities that equip them with the needed skills to become focal point in Egypt’s development vision.
H.E. commended the collaboration between stakeholders as represented by the partnership between the UN Women and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and between the National Council for Women (NCW) and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, to implement the program to end violence against women and girls, which fostered Egypt’s efforts with regards to the provision of a female-friendly environment that shall avert all sorts of violence against women.
Al- Mashat explained that, as the overseer of the implementation of the strategic framework for partnership with the United Nations, the Ministry has started the negotiations with the UN and all stakeholders to prepare for the new strategic framework for the partnership 2023/2027; configuring the new actionable roadmap to Egypt Vision 2030 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Al-Mashat stated that the negotiations witnessed the participation of representatives from more than 30 government agencies, as well as representatives of all UN agencies and organizations; adding that many meetings will be held during the coming period to develop a strategic framework for partnership that advances development efforts in various sectors, including enabling women and enhancing their role in economic activity.
H.E. Al- Mashat explained that the ongoing portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation includes 12 projects to achieve SDG 5: Gender Equality; these include the following projects: Promoting Gender-Responsive Workplaces in Egypt; Combating Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Egypt; Scaling up Safe Cities in Alexandria; Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt; Women’s Empowerment and Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt: COVID-19 Response; and other projects that promote women’s empowerment and open up prospects for economic and social opportunities for women and girls.
The Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the efforts of development cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to empower women, including the launch of the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator by the Ministry of International Cooperation and the National Council for Women, in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF); making Egypt the first country in Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa region to establish such platform. The initiative, which comes as the first institutional collaboration between the Ministry of International Cooperation and WEF, allows for all stakeholders to execute gender equality tasks and projects through decisive actions to close economic gender gaps.
The development financing concluded by the Ministry of International Cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support women’s empowerment and their participation in development efforts amounts to about $ 3.3 billion to implement 34 projects in various development sectors, with 20% dedicated to the health sector; 15% for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); 14% for education; 9% for agriculture; 6% each for irrigation and governance; and 3% each for trade, investment, social protection, transportation, water and sanitation sectors.