This morning, Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, participated in a recorded speech at the opening of the eighth conference of the Arab Women Organization, which was inaugurated by the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, which was held over a period of three days from 23-25 February 2021 under his auspices and headed by Claudine Aoun, President The Supreme Council of the Arab Women Organization, with the participation of representatives of international and regional organizations concerned with women’s affairs.
At the beginning of her speech, the President of the National Council for Women offered sincere thanks and appreciation to the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, for sponsoring this important conference, Claudine Aoun, President of the Supreme Council of the Organization in its current session, the ministers, heads of national mechanisms and representatives of international and regional organizations concerned with women’s affairs. She also thanked the organization Arab Women, the ancient regional organization that spares no effort in cooperation with all member states to improve the conditions of Arab women.
Dr. Maya Morsi affirmed that Egypt has made remarkable positive progress in the field of support and empowerment of women and gender equality at the national, regional and international levels during the last 6 years, due to the political will in support and support for women’s issues and the translation of their constitutional rights into laws, strategies and implementation programs carried out by government agencies. And non-governmental organizations, as the 2014 constitution included more than 20 constitutional articles to guarantee women’s rights in various areas of life. The President of the Republic declared 2017 a “year for Egyptian women” in a historical precedent.
She explained that Egypt launched the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030 in line with the sustainable development goals, and the President of the Republic adopted it in 2017 and approved it as a road map for the Egyptian government to implement all programs and activities for empowering women politically, economically, and socially, and protection from all forms of violence, legislation and culture as intersecting pillars. The Egypt National Observatory for Women was established to monitor progress in the strategy indicators.
Dr. Maya Morsi indicated that one of the most prominent achievements in this regard is the increase in the percentage of women’s representation in the Egyptian Parliament to 27%, in the Council of Ministers to 25%, and in the upcoming local councils 25%, and the President of the Republic has doubled the number of appointments in the Senate from 10 to 20 women, so the percentage of women in the Senate in general rose from at least 10% to 14% , and one woman succeeded in winning the position of deputy senator.
Dr. Maya Morsi added that the glass ceiling for women was broken for the first time with the appointment of the National Security Adviser to the President of the Republic, and the first woman to hold a governor position in Beheira Governorate, followed by Damietta Governorate. The percentage of female Conservatives reached 31%.
She added that in the context of women’s economic empowerment, the percentage of women who hold bank accounts and those who own private companies and who invest in the stock market increased, and women benefited from small and micro-enterprise loans, noting that Egypt is the second country in the world to launch the Gender Equality Seal Award for enterprises. Private and public enterprises, and the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises Development Agency won the first party to obtain this seal in Egypt and the Arab region.
She pointed out that within the framework of achieving women’s social empowerment, a conditional cash transfer program “Takaful and Dignity” and the presidential initiative “A Decent Life” and “Decent Housing” were launched for the most needy families, and “Safety Certificates” for life insurance were issued free of charge to women, and a special budget was allocated. For child care services from the state budget, the presidential health initiative “100 million health / Egyptian women’s health” was launched, reaching 11 million women.
And Dr. Maya Morsi continued: With regard to the axis of protection from all forms of violence against women, the Council of Ministers has approved the national strategy to combat violence against women, and the efforts of the Women’s Complaints Office extend in all governorates, and a special unit has been established to eliminate violence against women within the National Council for Women and my ministries Interior and justice; Departments for human rights and the elimination of violence against women within all security directorates in the governorates, a human rights office in police departments, providing hosting centers for women survivors of violence, establishing specialized clinics for violence against women within the forensic medicine department, and establishing anti-harassment units in public universities. The first hosting house for victims of human trafficking, and the launch of the basic services package for women and girls subjected to violence.
She explained that the Ministry of Justice has established specialized criminal departments in courts of appeal at the regional level to examine human trafficking cases, and that three medical response units have been established to deal with female victims in university hospitals, adding that the first national coordinating committee to eliminate female genital mutilation has been established in Egypt, the committee includes all the partners involved. With this case in Egypt, it aims to unify visions and coordinate efforts to eradicate crime. The Public Prosecution has operated digital offices for family prosecution services in a number of governorates.
She indicated that with regard to fair legislation for women, laws have been passed and amendments have been made to guarantee Egyptian women protection, full equality and equal opportunities. Laws have been amended, including the criminalization of deprivation of inheritance and the stricter penalties for female circumcision and sexual harassment, and the regulation of the work of the National Council for Women and the failure to disclose the data of the victims in Violent crimes, criminalizing and defining bullying, and amending the provisions of the Money Guardianship Law.
And she continued, in the context of dealing with the repercussions of the emerging Coronavirus pandemic, Egypt was the first country in the world to issue a policy paper on responding to the special needs of women and girls in the context of dealing with the pandemic, and it launched a mechanism to monitor and follow up the implementation of those policies in March 2020, and more than 165 were monitored. A preventive measure, decision and measure that supports Egyptian women so far.
She emphasized that Egypt ranked first in the report issued by UN Women and the United Nations Development Program on the measures taken by countries around the world to support women during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which the section on the Middle East and West Asia explained that the number of measures that Egypt has taken to support women Women, according to the standards of monitoring the United Nations, is the highest number of measures that have been taken in the aforementioned region since the beginning of the crisis.
She explained that internationally, Egypt led an initiative in the United Nations to present a resolution before the General Assembly with the two sisters Algeria and Saudi Arabia in addition to China and Zambia on “strengthening the national and international rapid response to the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls.” The decision sheds light on the special needs of women and girls during the pandemic, It deals with the economic and social repercussions on their rights during the pandemic, and provides a practical vision for how to strengthen national and international dealing with these repercussions.
In conclusion, she said, “Women are the basic structure for the advancement of societies. Therefore, empowering women, respecting them and appreciating their role is a national duty and an indispensable commitment for a better future for our Arab societies.”