On Sunday, the U.S. Chargé D’Affaires Nicole Shampaine, Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Social Solidarity Dr. Nevine El Kabbag, President of Egypt’s National Council for Women Dr. Maya Morsy, and UN Women Country Representative Christine Arab celebrated the successful completion of the Safe Cities Free from Violence against Women and Girls project that promotes community-based approaches to address violence against women and girls in Egypt.
During the event, U.S. Chargé D’Affaires Nicole Shampaine said, “The United States invested $8 million in the Safe Cities program, which laid the foundation for policy reforms, service provision, and national advocacy efforts to criminalize sexual harassment for the first time in Egypt’s history. By working to advance women’s economic and social empowerment, the United States is committed to helping Egypt build an economically stable, sustainable future.”
The United States, through USAID, invested $8 million in the Safe Cities project over the past eight years to support Egyptian-led efforts to end violence against women and girls by combating sexual harassment, promoting legislative reforms, strengthening the capacity of public institutions, and improving support mechanisms for survivors of violence against women.
Safe Cities trained more than 3,000 legal, psycho-social, and shelter service providers in responding to violence against women. Safe Cities upgraded four women’s shelters to accommodate more survivors of violence. Over 50,000 women used these services in 2020.
The United States and partners supported the Egyptian government’s efforts to criminalize sexual harassment for the first time in Egypt’s history through Presidential Decree Number 50 in 2014, which modified articles in the country’s penal code. The Safe Cities program also established Egypt’s first on-campus Anti-Harassment Unit at Cairo University, implemented three nationwide awareness campaigns that reached nearly 60 million Egyptians and built two safe spaces for women and girls in Cairo and Giza.
The U.S. government will continue to support women’s empowerment and economic growth in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030. The Safe Cities project is part of the $30 billion that the American people have invested in Egypt through USAID since 1978.