As part of the awareness activities of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, the Ambassador of Spain in Egypt, H.E. Mr. Alvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Finland in Egypt, H.E. Mr. Pekka Kosonen, and representatives from the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) visited projects in Minya to highlight the impacts of gender-inclusive development initiatives in Upper Egypt.
This visit is part of the Team Europe campaign, #TeamEurope4Women&Girls, which is the first campaign to be based on a Team Europe approach to send a strong message of European partnership and global solidarity with all women who face any form of gender-based violence.
"Spain's foreign policy puts gender as a key cornerstone that permeates every aspect of our foreign policy. We are committed to integrating gender, economic and environment national priorities to achieve gender-inclusive development,” H.E. Mr. Alvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Spain in Egypt, said.
“It was truly inspiring to listen to the stories of women today and witness the diversity of projects that target several sectors, including agriculture and the environment. Ending gender-based violence requires coordinated and integrated efforts that achieve economic and social development outcomes. Finland is committed to supporting Egypt’s climate change priorities, and in integrating gender with the climate change agenda,” H.E. Mr. Pekka Kosonen, Ambassador of Finland in Egypt, said.
On the first day, the ambassadors paid a visit to projects funded by the Embassy of Finland, including the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) at Etsa Center and Athar for Training Services at the Information Technology Institute. The projects aim at poverty alleviation, self-employment and socio-economic development for women in Upper Egypt to foster economic and financial inclusion.
Next year, the Embassy of Finland will be working with both partners to economically empower women in the green sector in order to find sustainable climate solutions.
The second day took place at the Abo Korkas Hotel and Vocational Training Center, which was established in 2009 with the support of the Spanish Cooperation, in collaboration with Spanish non-governmental organization (NGO), Social Promotion Foundation, and Egyptian NGO, Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED).
The project “Support Decent Work for Vulnerable Groups in Upper Egypt through Micro-entrepreneurship” aims to empower local communities through the provision of hospitality management, food service and culinary arts training.
The project is also geared towards breaking cultural barriers to support equal participation of women in all spheres of the public life, particularly in sports and culture. The second part of the day witnessed a visit to an AUEED school, which provides education and development programmes with a special focus on children, women and youth. With the support of the Spanish Cooperation, AUEED and FPSC have created a tailoring training center where female-headed households can enhance their technical skills and have access to new income generation opportunities.
In full alignment with the 2030 Agenda, Gender Equality (SDG 5) has become consolidated as a priority and a hallmark of the Spanish Cooperation and Spain's foreign policy. The feminist foreign policy adopted by Spain in 2021 which is guided by the principle of the ‘transformative approach’ and aims to ensure coherence across all projects and bring about a structural change in institutional cultures.