On International Women’s Day, the Ministry of International Cooperation in Egypt revealed the volume of funds for women support programs in the education and health sectors.
The development funds concluded by the Ministry of International Cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support the empowerment of women and their participation in development efforts amounted to about $ 3.3 billion within the current portfolio, to implement 34 projects in various development sectors.
The Ministry of International Cooperation stated, in a statement, that development funds that enhance the empowerment of women in various development sectors are distributed in many sectors, including 20% in the health sector, 15% in the education sector, 14% in the education sector, and 9% in The agriculture sector, 6% each for the irrigation and governance sector, and 3% each for the trade, investment, social protection, transportation, water and sanitation sectors.
Many development partners contributed to making these funds available, including the World Bank Group, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Union, the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Germany and France.
Bridging the gender gap
The Ministry of International Cooperation and the National Council for Women, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, launched the implementation plan for a catalyst for bridging the gender gap, making Egypt the first country in Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region to launch this platform that aims to enhance joint efforts between the governmental and private sectors, civil society and international partners to empower Women economically; The catalyst for bridging the gender gap is the first institutional cooperation between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the World Economic Forum.
Among the most important features of the executive procedures targeted to be applied within the “gender gap catalyst”, which includes supporting the representation of women in boards of directors and assuming leadership positions, and working on adopting policies that would alleviate the challenges that women face in balancing their work with the responsibility of caring for children, and motivating Investing in the public and private sectors in the field of child and elderly care, and launching initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of women’s responsibilities, in addition to working to provide women with skills and experiences and designing programs that represent a catalyst for developing women’s skills in the fields of information and communication technology, science, engineering, mathematics and artificial intelligence.
The executive plan also includes strengthening and stimulating mentorship and women leadership programs for companies, in order to improve corporate policies in the field of women’s economic empowerment and enhancing women’s leadership in boards of directors, implementing models for building the capacity of concerned government agencies to expand gender-responsive services and policies, and developing incentive tools for the sector. As well as using digital marketing to help women entrepreneurs and startups better access local and global markets.
The Ministry of International Cooperation launched the community initiative “Muamma” in partnership with the United Nations Development Program and the Al-Nida Foundation, with the aim of involving women from Upper Egypt in the process of producing medical face masks, instead of making clothes, to show flexibility in a timely manner and create added value, so that women produce more than 3000 masks per day; Through the initiative, the United Nations Development Program has trained about 600 women in Upper Egypt on how to manufacture high-quality masks.
Program “International Finance”
The International Finance Corporation has also launched an advisory program to improve employment opportunities for women in the Egyptian market. It is a three-year program that aims to create a work environment in the private sector, to enable women to obtain job opportunities, in a way that supports the women’s economic empowerment plan.
IFC is working with several leading companies under this program, including Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH) to provide healthcare, Metro Market, a retailer and a leading financial institution in the banking sector, to help them collect data on the company’s human resources. Disaggregated by gender, analysis of gender gaps between workers, and the development of an action plan to help bridge these gaps.
United States Agency for International Development
USAID has channeled $ 604 million in grants to support the basic education reform program in Egypt. The various projects within this program focused on expanding access to quality early childhood education, encouraging female participation in STEM schools, improving student evaluation systems, increasing the quality of education through professional development activities for teachers and administrators, and integrating technology in the classroom to include More digital resources and better classroom data collection.
To enhance the nation’s capacity in STEM schools, USAID has developed teacher training and skills development programs in public schools, as well as providing mothers with literacy classes to learn how to engage with their children while learning at home.
USAID also launched the “Empowering Girls in Communities” program, where a new grant agreement was allocated in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development worth $ 3 million to enable girls in Upper Egypt to access education, health and cultural opportunities, during the celebration of the International Day of the Girl.
Among the projects that promote girls’ empowerment of educational opportunities are community schools that have been implemented in partnership with the World Food Program in the Luxor Governorate, which aim to provide a comprehensive package of educational and awareness-raising activities, in order to be an integrated center of knowledge for all members of the village, as well as raising the capacities of mothers of children and reaching The number of women whose capabilities have been raised and supported through the project is about 2309 women, and 569 of them have received small loans. So far, 57 schools have been inaugurated in 7 governorates, and 1,300 community centers are targeted during 2021.
United Nations Children’s Fund “UNICEF”
And through cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, especially goals related to health and well-being, support for women, providing educational opportunities and supporting sound policies for raising children, were supported by funding for cooperation programs worth 103 million dollars during the period from 2018- 2020, in several important areas, including social and health protection for children and women, and support for educational opportunities and proper nutrition, within the strategic framework of the partnership with the United Nations that extends until 2022.
The “Empowerment of Women” component is included as a major axis in the strategic framework for the partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Nations 2018/2022, noting that as a result of the meetings that took place during the past year within the framework of the Facilitation Committee of the Strategic Framework for Partnership with the United Nations, the projected budget for financing women empowerment projects During 2021, it will reach about 48 million dollars.
Family planning programs
During the past year, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the United States Agency for International Development, in cooperation with the American University in Cairo, launched the “Youth Competition for the Project to Strengthen the Family Planning Program in Egypt” as part of the “Improving Population Health Results” initiative signed earlier with USAID with a value of 31 million Dollars.
The competition aims to form the best awareness campaigns related to family planning and reproductive health services. The awareness campaigns are scheduled to reach 9 governorates in Upper Egypt. All participating students will be provided with technical and non-technical capacity building workshops, field research, awareness, training and continuous support. John D. Gerhart of American University Philanthropy, Civic Engagement, and Responsible Business.