Women – Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:16:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 NCW issues e-catalogue to empower women economically https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/29/ncw-issues-e-catalogue-to-empower-women-economically/ Sun, 29 Sep 2019 20:01:50 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=709457 catalogue includes 23 women entrepreneurs, and contains more than 60 products.

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The National Council for women (NCW) issued the electronic catalogue Masria 3 (Egyptian female) on Tuesday, which is part of the Creativity from Egypt initiative.

The catalogue includes 23 women entrepreneurs, and contains more than 60 products. It also showcases the success stories of female entrepreneurs, as well as obstacles they faced during their work.

Through this catalog, the NCW aims to help women open new marketing channels for small and medium enterprises.

The NCW said that issuing this catalogue is part of the council’s efforts to empower women economically.

The former two editions of the catalogue included more than 55 women entrepreneurs.

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L’Oréal Egypt launches 4th Skin and Hair Summit https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/29/loreal-egypt-launches-4th-skin-and-hair-summit/ Sun, 29 Sep 2019 19:59:09 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=709463 L’Oréal launches SkinAlliance platform to exchange research studies of dermatology

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L’Oréal Egypt has launched the fourth edition of its annual skin and hair care event, titled Skin and Hair Summit, in the presence of more than 400 leading dermatologists in Egypt. The conference discussed the latest studies and researches on the latest international developments in the skin and hair health.

Mohamed El Araby, General Manager of Active Cosmetics Divion in L’Oréal Egypt, said the summit confirms L’Oréal’s interest and commitment towards the development of skin and hair health sector in Egypt through providing the latest studies in this field under one umbrella, which is this summit.

He announced that L’Oréal has launched a new electronic platform, SkinAlliance, in the Egyptian market to enable dermatologists in Egypt to access the latest research and laboratory studies, and exchange experience among physicians around the world.

El Araby told Daily News Egypt that L’Oréal aims to attract 600 Egyptian doctors to join the platform by the end of year.

Rehab Hegazy, a dermatologist and cosmetics consultant, said the SkinAlliance is one of the largest platforms that provide the opportunity for experience exchange among dermatologists in 120 countries.

To access the platform, dermatologists are required to submit their curriculum vitarum.

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Women have the required qualifications to work in any sector: AIWF founder https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/29/women-have-the-required-qualifications-to-work-in-any-sector-aiwf-founder/ Sun, 29 Sep 2019 18:57:08 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=709454 “If we make the economy less bureaucratic, it will become easier to do business,” says Al-Kaylani

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The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) has joined forces with the American University in Cairo (AUC), to hold this year’s AIWF conference, under the theme “Women as Engines of Economic Growth”, last week.

The conference focused on empowering women innovators, entrepreneurs, executives, and educators to fulfil the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Daily News Egypt interviewed AIWF Founder and Chairperson, Haifa Al-Kaylani, to discuss the status of women economic empowerment in Egypt, what is new in this edition of the AIWF conference, and its impact on women empowerment.

Al-Kaylani was appointed as a commissioner in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work in August 2017.

How did the idea of the forum originate? And what are its main targets?

The AIWF has been established 18 years ago in London. I was an economist who wanted to advocate for the need of developing women to achieve development in the Arab world, working together as women and men. When we started the AIWF, there were a lot of stereotypes about women, but the international community wanted to break them. Hence, this forum showcases women’s success stories. Our motto is “Building Bridges, Building Business” to establish knowledge and understanding that affect change. Accordingly, we hold conferences in Arab and foreign capitals.

Economy is at the heart of what the AIWF believes in. We believe the prosperity and stability of the Arab region occurs if we activate our economies, and the only way we see for activating our economies is employing a half of the society (women).

What was new in this edition?

This edition was extremely important because it focused not only on women in business or on director boards, but it also focused on women in small and medium sized enterprises, and the agricultural sector. We also tackled the role of policy makers, and the future of women and youth employment in light of the high technological development.

How would this forum empower women or impact the society?

Every conference of the AIWF produces recommendations based on the outcomes of its sessions. Afterwards, we send the reports to Arab and foreign governments, policymakers in the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the United Nations. We also work closely with the media to get reports published about the conference’s recommendations.

How can you evaluate the status of women’s economic empowerment in Egypt?

We truly believe that women in Egypt and in the wider Arab region, have been empowered by the excellent education, and by the government’s investments in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Women are truly entering the economy, and setting up small businesses. Women’s role in Egypt is extremely important, they are already playing a huge role as engines of economic growth, yet we still face challenges in the Arab region.

What are these challenges?

Women usually face different challenges than those faced by men when they start a business, including access to legal advice, technical knowledge, and financial resources. Acquiring these elements would help women who have good ideas, to create jobs and become financially independent.

In order to fully empower women in Egypt, do you think we need to change the people’s mindsets, change related laws, or have clear directions from the political leadership?

We need all of them. We need first of all to ensure women’s rights to set up a business. We need the law to support women’s financial rights, not only human rights. By financial rights I mean she should have the right to spend her salary in whatever she wishes. We need a good ecosystem and financial inclusion for women.

In your opinion, what are the reasons behind the great participation of women in the informal sector?

I think it is easier to enter the informal sector, as it’s less complicated. This is why we are saying if we make the rest of the economy less bureaucratic, it will become easier to do business, and accordingly have more female participation.

In your opinion, what are the promising sectors for women in Egypt?

I think every sector is promising for women. I am not going to specify certain sectors. I want to stress that Egyptian women have the required qualifications and skills to work in any sector.

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Women as Engines of Economic Growth https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/20/women-as-engines-of-economic-growth/ Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:59:04 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=708542 The conference brought into focus the vital contributions of women leaders in economic growth across the MENA states, and the importance of supporting their development in key positions in public institutions and companies, which is a key national priority in Egypt.

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The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) and the American University in Cairo (AUC), jointly held a major conference on Tuesday as part of the AUC’s centennial celebration dubbed ‘Women as Engines of Economic Growth.’

The conference focused on empowering women innovators, entrepreneurs, executives, and educators toward the fulfilment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

The conference brought into focus the vital contributions of women leaders in economic growth across the MENA states, and the importance of supporting their development in key positions in public institutions and companies, which is a key national priority in Egypt.

It concluded with key reflections on the future of work challenges and opportunities in the MENA region and globally.

The AIWF is a non-profit development organisation focused on women’s development and youth empowerment headquartered in London and founded in 2001 by Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani.

Gender equality= sustainable economic growth

The Founder and Chairperson of the AIWF, Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, began her speech by asserting that sustainable and inclusive economic growth is a clear priority for the MENA states, noting that it will only be achieved with the full engagement of young people and the rightful participation and valuable contributions of women who make up half of the Arab population.

Agreeing with Al Kaylani, the Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform, Hala Al-Saeed, asserted that gender equality is at the heart of sustainable development in any country, noting that it is an issue at the core of the UN’s SDGs.

Leveraging Women’s Successes in MENA region

Al Kaylani stated that it is always important to acknowledge what has been achieved in order to build on it for the future, noting that throughout the MENA region, women are increasingly taking on high-level leadership positions in business, public service, the judiciary, and legislature. She noted that women are rapidly advancing in professions previously dominated by men, including finance, aviation, business, technology, academia, research, and STEM careers, challenging gender bias in nearly every sector and sphere.

She added that Arab women are commanding a greater presence in corporate boards, in senior executive leadership positions, and in top jobs at multinational and family-owned businesses.

Al Kaylani pointed out that in most Arab countries, women are also successfully assuming positions of leadership in public service and international relations, and are increasingly being elected and appointed to political, diplomatic, and development roles, giving women a greater voice in legislative reform throughout the region.

“The overall rate of parliamentary participation of women in Arab States is, as of April 2019, 18.1% (up from 13% in 2012 and 9% in 2010, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union),” she revealed.

Al Kaylani showed that in Tunisia and Algeria, Electoral Law in both countries now includes a quota that women should comprise half of the candidates on political party lists.

“Last year, Jordanian women also celebrated a record number of female ministers, with seven women appointed to cabinet seats out of 29 cabinet seats in the new government,” according to Al Kaylani.

“Morocco also has some of the most gender progressive laws in the region and one of the largest percentages of women in parliament – around 20.5% in 2018, surpassing the quota that mandates 15% of parliamentary seats for women,” she added.

She mentioned that this is in addition to senior cabinet positions, noting that more Arab women than ever before are serving as governors, ambassadors, and leading diplomatic figures, and are also levelling the playing field in law and politics, breaking new ground at the highest levels of the judiciary.

Adding to what Al Kaylani said, Al-Saeed mentioned that over the past decade, the MENA region has taken great steps in health, education, and in all issues related to gender equality.

She asserted that these are just a few cases of the strong actions taken by governments in the MENA region on the political front, which are significantly reflected in the rising percentage of women’s participation in all fields.

Leveraging women’s success in Egypt

Talking about women`s achievements in Egypt, President of the National Council for Women(NCW), Maya Morsi, stated that the NCW prepared in 2017 the national strategy for Egyptian women’s empowerment 2030, which emanates from the vision of Egypt 2030, in cooperation with a large number of bodies, ministries, national councils, and civil society organisations.

Morsi pointed out that for the first time, women represent 25% of Egypt’s Cabinet.

In June 2018, for the first time in Egyptian history and under the inspired leadership of the President of the republic, the Egyptian Cabinet announced the appointments of eight female ministers.

She stated that the presence of women in various decision-making positions contributes to changing the mindset of people, changing the negative social perception of the limited roles that women can play in society and their contribution in all fields.

In that context, Al-Saeed said that the representation of women in Egypt’s Cabinet is higher than America and Portugal.

“It’s not a matter of increasing the numbers of female ministries in the cabinet, but what really matters is that these female ministries are running one of the key ministries in the country,” Morsi said proudly.

For her part, Al Kaylani described this achievement as a landmark for Egyptian women leaders in political and public life.

Al-Saeed also mentioned the increase in the number of female representatives in Egypt’s Parliament, which currently sits at 15%, up from only 2% in 2012.

“Women’s economic empowerment is at the heart of Egypt’s vision, which aims to provide equal participation with men in all fields,” she asserted.

Al-Saeed declared that Egypt aims to increase women’s engagement in the workforce from below 25% to 35%, while dropping the unemployment rate among females.

In that context, she mentioned that the female unemployment rate has dropped from 24% between 2011-2017, to 19% in 2018.

“To date, significant progress has been made in the implementation of Egypt’s 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, which has set gender targets to reduce female unemployment and increase female formal labour participation, ” Al Kaylani asserted.

Notably, the President of Egypt and the President of the NCW had declared 2017 the Year of Egyptian Women.

Al Kaylani also stated that Egypt is further making excellent progress on financial inclusion, having adopted the Maya Declaration which champions financial inclusion and contributes to SDG 1 on the elimination of poverty.

Regarding financial inclusion, Al-Saeed revealed that the percentage of women that experience financial inclusion in Egypt has increased to 27% in 2018, up from only 9% in 2012.

Addressing challenges to women’s economic empowerment in the MENA region

Arab and international business communities are taking note of women’s remarkable progress, their energy, and their aptitude for meaningfully contributing to the economic prosperity of the region. Leveraging these valuable achievements is key to addressing the empowerment challenges that remain for many women throughout the region.

For her part, Al-Saeed stated that despite of all the progress witnessed in the Arab world, women still face barriers keeping them from achieving their potential.

“The region faces considerable and highly unique demographic, economic, and resource-driven challenges,” Al Kaylani explained.

She mentioned that as a result of these challenges, many Arab governments have prioritised their national economic development agenda parameters, including sustainable economic diversification and development in order to meet core SDGs on poverty, water and food security, and humanitarian obligations toward refugees and the internally displaced, in addition to addressing youth unemployment in the region, all while improving the low rates of women’s participation in the economy and in parliament.

Al Kaylani mentioned that the conference sessions addressed key development challenges in the region.

“We need to bring to light challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership and gender diversity on corporate boards and in family businesses. We also need to address women’s inclusion and participation in the MENA economy, with emphasis on women’s entrepreneurship and SMEs development, as well as women in the rural or agricultural sectors and women in the informal economy,” she said.

“There is great importance to assert women’s critical role in public service and policymaking to advance legislative reform and societal progress, in order to effectively address the issue of women’s under-participation in this sphere,” she continued.

Meanwhile, Al-Saeed stated that there is an urgent need in the Arab world in general, and in Egypt specifically, to focus on improving the quality of education, which has proven to impact women’s self- esteem and desire to achieve decision-making positions.

She explained that there is a positive correlation between the mothers who received a higher-level education and the daughter’s chances to access education. In addition, women are found to have benefited more than men from higher education to apply in the labour market.

According to Al-Saeed, “Supporting women’s organisations is a necessity that can transform women’s access to paid work and, in turn, empower women and allow them to be more active citizens. This includes entrepreneurship policies that bring better access to finance, and a variety of other non-financial services.”

She also mentioned the necessity of encouraging more women to use information and communication technology, describing it as a promising field for improving women’s engagement in the labour market and as a tool to empower agency in the fourth industry revolution.

Meanwhile, Morsi referred to the importance of legislative reform to ensure the rights of women and girls in various fields, and to provide equal opportunities for them.

She asserted that many laws have been issued for preserving women’s rights and participation in the economic, social, and political life, such as Investment Laws and laws against sexual harassment, in addition to the Inheritance Law.

Morsi also pointed out that Labour Laws that give women in the government sector more rights, in addition to adopting the policies by the ministry of social solidarity, may increase the participation of women in the labour market.

She also suggested cooperation between the NCW and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to raise awareness among women on financial inclusion.

Morsi also confirmed that the NCW seeks to increase women’s participation in the field of entrepreneurship and to eliminate economic illiteracy among women.

Finally, the president called on the private sector to adopt more policies that would grant increased rights to women in order to strenthen their participation in the sector, noting that strong women are determined to play a role in society and bring about change.

She called on women and girls to believe in their power, and to create the engine of their future that will break glass barriers and obstacles standing in their way.

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Women’s cinema in Egypt is characterised by diversity, abundance of production https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/13/womens-cinema-in-egypt-is-characterised-by-diversity-abundance-of-production/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 12:20:15 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=707879 Notably, the next edition of the Valencia film Festival will be held from 24 October to 3 November in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

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The Artistic Director of the Valencia film Festival, Eduardo Guillot, said that women’s cinema in Egypt is characterised by diversity and an abundance of production.

He added during the seminar, which was organised by the ambassador of Spain to Egypt, Ramón Gil–Casares at the Institute of Cervantes, about the cinematic works presented by Egyptian female directors.

Notably, the next edition of the Valencia film Festival will be held from 24 October to 3 November in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

The festival is considered a meeting point between different cultures in the Mediterranean countries. Among its selections, it will screen films directed by the most important contemporary Egyptian female directors including, Kamela Abu Zekri; Sandra Nashaat; Ayten Amin; Maryam Abu Ouf; Hala Khalil; Hala Lotfy, and Amal Ramsis.

“This year, Egypt was chosen because it offers a cinema that is famous in all Arab countries, and it also features abundant production,” he stated.

“After research, we found that the recent years witnessed the presence of female directors who offer a variety and distinctive perspectives in their films,” he concluded.

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NCCM stopped child marriage case in Gharbeya https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/13/nccm-stopped-child-marriage-case-in-gharbeya/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 12:00:05 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=707873 Subsequently, Secretary General of the NCCM, Azza El Ashmawy, notified the child hotline to take legal action.

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Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) announced that it realised on social media platforms photos and posts about an engagement ceremony for two children aged 15 and 12-years-old in an apartment in Kafr Hassan village located in Samannoud City in Gharbeya. Therefore, they decided to intervene to stop this marriage.

Subsequently, Secretary General of the NCCM, Azza El Ashmawy, notified the child hotline to take legal action.

El- Ashmawy stated that the NCCM informed the public prosecution about the incident in order to take legal action, with the aim of preventing the completion of this marriage until children reach the legal age of 18, as the Egyptian Marriage Laws set the legal age of marriage at 18.

Furthermore, El Ashmawy said that the general committee for the protection of childhood in the governorate of Gharbeya met with the families of the two children and offered counselling services and advice of the dangers and harms of early marriage, and took the necessary steps for the families not to marry the children off before they reach the legal age.

For her part, Sakina Fouad, adviser to former interim president Adly Mansour for women’s affairs, expressed her happiness with the NCCM’s intervention, asserting that child marriage is considered a violation of childhood, and should be considered as child trafficking.

“Economic conditions and the lack of girls’ awareness about their rights as well as the parents’ exploitation of some girls’ weaknesses, and their lack of awareness of their rights, are all reasons behind the hike in the number of child marriages in Egypt,” she explained.

She elaborated further that this negative practice already existed, but what helped it return at such high rates in 2013 was when the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in the country. At the time, the Brotherhood predominant parliament proposed a law to drop the minimum age for female marriage to 16-years-old, but happily, Fouad said, parliament was dissolved before the law was approved.

“Unfortunately, the crime still exists. Yet trafficking in the name of religion and using it as a cover for backwardness and extremism is the base of the matter, which is a violation of the wellbeing of the girl and the rights of women,” Fouad asserted.

She concluded that there is a need to increase religious awareness of the true religion, noting that religious awareness is what will prevent this negative practice.

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OECD praised Egypt’s empowerment of women, however, much needs to be done https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/13/oecd-praised-egypts-empowerment-of-women-however-much-needs-to-be-done/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:40:09 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=707871 Furthermore, she pointed out that Egypt plays an important role in the region in terms of empowering women, noting that many African countries have taken Egypt as a leading example in the implementation of economic reforms related to the empowerment of women.

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The Chief of Staff of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Gabriela Ramos, thanked Egypt President, Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi for the presence of eight female ministers in the Egyptian government, praising the country’s agenda for empowering women.

She added that the OECD seeks to support the Egyptian government’s plans to empower women. It also supports the state on its economic reform agenda, praising what Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, has accomplished regarding empowering women in the Investment Law.

Her remarks came during the National Discussion Conference for the Women’s Economic Empowerment, which was organized by the OECD, in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, and the Swedish embassy.

Furthermore, she pointed out that Egypt plays an important role in the region in terms of empowering women, noting that many African countries have taken Egypt as a leading example in the implementation of economic reforms related to the empowerment of women.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC), said that the ministry is working on legislative reforms and investment policies to improve the economic empowerment of women, as well as to attract investors to inject new investments in Egypt, especially businesswomen.

She explained that the ministry has cooperated with the OECD in improving the investment environment and the empowerment of women, asserting that the state looks forward for further partnerships with the organisation.

The minister pointed out that the MIIC focuses on attracting more investments to provide job opportunities for women and youth, which contributes to their empowerment.

Moreover, Nasr asserted that since the beginning of her term, the political leadership has directed all the ministers to support women’s empowerment in all fields.

Nasr referred to the New Investment Law, mentioning for the first time in Egypt’s history an article on the Investment Law is allocated with the aim of achieving women’s economic empowerment.

Women have already benefited from economic empowerment programmes, especially the initiatives of the MIIC to finance women entrepreneurs, to become businesswomen, She shared.

The minister pointed out that all projects are coordinated with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the relevant ministries to have a proportion of women in all institutions, pointing out that the state is investing in human capital, especially in health and education in order to benefit women.

For her part, President of the NCW, Maya Morsi, asserted that Egyptian women played a big role in the economic empowerment agenda. There are eight women ministers representing 25% of the cabinet.

She also highlighted that the percentage of women in the cabinet will reach 25% in the next cabinet formation.

She thanked the minister for her efforts in empowering women and businesswomen, pointing out that the NCW has a strategy for women’s empowerment, which includes four axes: economic empowerment, decision-making, leadership, social protection, legislation and social change.

Morsi also praised the Investment Law for providing equal opportunities for women with men.

Furthermore, Morsi said that the Investment Law’s provision on gender equality is important for economic empowerment, in addition to the New Inheritance Law which criminalises the infringement upon women’s inheritance rights, asserting that these are the outlets for women’s economic empowerment.

“Reforms by the MIIC in business will increase women’s participation at the economic level,” Morsi said.

Rapporteur of the National Population Council, Amr Hassan, added that one of the axes of the National Population Strategy 2015-2030, is the empowerment of women.

He explained that women`s empowerment is a solution to many social and economic problems, including FGM, early marriage, and the large increase in births, noting that these problems represent a continuous circle.

Randa Abulhassan said that the UNDP implemented a significant number of programmes to empower women, in cooperation with the Egyptian government.

“The situation would be much improved if women were made aware of their rights, since women’s empowerment would increase economic growth by 7%,” Abulhassan added.

Egyptian women aren’t engaged as equal agents of value creation in the Egyptian economy, and are by extension not involved in determining the direction of and means by which value is created for the Egyptian economy at large, according to the latest report of the World bank on Egyptian women’s economic empowerment.

The labour force in Egypt was estimated at 28.9 million in 2016, with females representing 24.2% of the total labour force. The labour force residing in rural areas is higher than that in urban areas (16.6 million and 12.3 million, respectively). The percentage of females is slightly higher in urban areas, at 24.9%, than in rural areas, at 23.7%,” Morsi declared earlier.

The number of employed females increased from nearly 23.8 million to 25.4 million between 2010 and 2016, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of 1%. The growth was three times higher among females than among males (2.26% and 0.73%, respectively). This increase improved the distorted male/female balance, as the percentage of female employees increased from 19.6% in 2010 to 21.1% in 2016, according to the report.

In 2016, the number of women in management positions as an employment percentage in Egypt was only 7.1%, according to Morsi.

Meanwhile, the Project Officer in Women’s Economic Empowerment at UN Women, Engy Amin, told Daily News Egypt that women’s representation in the labour force stands at only 22%, compared with 87% for men.

“Unfortunately, most women in Egypt work in the informal sector, and over 45% of women working in the agriculture sector are women,” she said.

Additionally, she explained that working in the informal sector has a lot of disadvantages including that women would lack any health insurance, pensions, in addition to adding no value to the country’s GDP.

“Egypt’s GDP will increase by 34% if females receive equal opportunities with men in the workplace,” she concluded.

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Egg freezing holds promise, but causes social blizzard in Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/09/05/egg-freezing-holds-promise-but-causes-social-blizzard-in-egypt/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 14:15:17 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=707175 In brief, egg freezing is a solution to preserve a woman’s fertility, so she can get pregnant in the future. It involves extracting a woman's eggs (oocytes), freezing them, and stored as a method to preserve reproductive potential for women.

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In a scene in the famous series, Sabea’ Gar (The Seventh Neighbour) a young single woman called Hala, 35, went to a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, asking about the possibility of freezing her ovarian eggs in a procedure called mature oocyte cryopreservation. Hala was driven to this operation because she’s afraid that she may be unable to reproduce after a certain age, so she needs to keep her reproduction chances alive until she gets married or until she wants to use them even if she did not marry. The doctor explained to Hala that she needs to learn more about the process, and explained to her that she should marry first as these eggs would need sperm for the in vitro fertilisation (IVF), but Hala was stubborn.

Hala in Sabea` Gar series

Actually, it was the first time for the Egyptian drama to shed the light on this issue causing a wide social debate about it. Many discussions were generated on social media, in which some females were against the idea, while others were for it, but almost all of them were wondering about the process, which showed that many women have never heard about it.

In brief, egg freezing is a solution to preserve a woman’s fertility, so she can get pregnant in the future. It involves extracting a woman’s eggs (oocytes), freezing them, and stored as a method to preserve reproductive potential for women.

A woman’s chances of conceiving naturally decrease as she gets older because the quality and number of her eggs diminish. Egg freezing can be an attempt to preserve fertility by freezing the eggs when the woman is young and the eggs are of the highest quality.

The aforementioned debate reappeared again on social media days ago, when a single woman, called Reem Mahana, announced in a video on her Facebook account that she had frozen her eggs two years ago.

“I decided to announce publicly that I had frozen my eggs. Yes, I had frozen my eggs when I asked the doctor to make this surgery, he was shocked, telling me I have never been asked by any Egyptian woman to do this,” she said.

She conducted an abdominal ovum freezing surgery where her doctor conducted a laparoscopy to extract her eggs and freeze them. She noted that her frozen eggs would last for 20 or 30 years.

Mehanna said she froze her eggs because she wants to get married after 30 in order to build her career. She found that the best way to preserve her chance of becoming a mother was to have this operation. In addition, she is totally against the idea of getting married only to have a child.

Reem Mehana

Controversy

As the debates returned again on social media, Daily News Egypt dug further into that matter, taking the opinion of several females with different backgrounds on the topic.

Daliaa Ahmed, 25, said she is with the operation as it will save for any female her chance to become a mother, noting that it’s the right of any girl to decide when to have a baby.

Alaa Ali, 40, agreed with Ahmed unless this operation is Haram (religiously forbidden), as a lot of females get married only to have a child, and this desire blind them from choosing the right partners.

Disagreeing with both, Hanaa Ahmed, 50, said she is against this operation as she prefers women to have children normally because she fears mixing of lineages.

Hind Awad, 25, opposed the operation as females who did this operation would lose their virginity, so it is Haram.

Mechanism, virginity concern

DNE explored the discussions that appeared on social media in addition to interviewing different females from different categories, discovering that there are a lot of vague points in the topic from religious and medical views.

DNE also found that actually both types of people who are against or with this operation need to learn more about it.

Hence, DNE contacted Dr Hossam Al-Shenoufy, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Cairo University, about this operation, and he explained that the process of freezing eggs needs taking some drugs for three weeks to activate the ovaries and boost egg production.

“When they’re ready, we collect the eggs as is the case in the IVF, but the difference is that we freeze the eggs,” he said. “Then when the women want to get pregnant, we thaw them and fertilise them with sperms,” he continued.

As many girls expressed their concern about losing their virginity, Al-Shenoufy stated that “the process of collecting the eggs is done through vaginal ultrasonography, so the girl will lose her virginity but the doctor gives her a medical certificate proving that she lost her virginity due to this operation.”

“But if the female does not prefer to lose her virginity, we suggest another method for collecting the eggs which is abdomen laparoscopy,” he added.

Hossam Al-Shenoufy

A guarantee for women to get pregnant at any age?

Al-Shenoufy explained to DNE that the process of freezing eggs started in 2012 to give female cancer patients a chance to get pregnant after completing their treatment, noting that the best solution before 2012 was the IVF or the test tube babies.

Furthermore, Al-Shenoufy added that due to the rapid social changes including the delayed marriage age in addition to the high divorce rates, females became worried about their fertility as it will be declining, but they are not ready to have a child or they haven’t found the right partner, so they began to turn to the operation of freezing eggs.

“We want to differentiate between two types of egg freezing: the first is medical, while the second is social,” he continued.

Al-Shenoufy stated that the problem is that the eggs cannot withstand the freezing process as good as the embryo.

“It is not the same with frozen eggs. Many eggs get affected during the thawing process,” Al-Shenoufy revealed.

“According to the American Society of reproductive medicine (ASRM), the chance of getting pregnant from a frozen egg is around 6%,” he further explained.

In terms of the expiry date of the frozen eggs, he said that in the United States, the eggs are frozen for up to five years, with a maximum of 10 years according to the law.

“Thus, while egg freezing for social reasons should be offered to ladies, it is important to explain to them that it does not ensure getting pregnant at an older age. On the contrary, it has a very low chance of succeeding and also for a limited time since they freeze their eggs,” Al-Shenoufy concluded.

Risks and advantages

Al-Shenoufy explained that freezing eggs has an advantage as it gives women who suffer from cancer a chance to have a child even at an older age.

On contrary, he stated that the only risk that the woman is subjected to in the process of egg freezing is hyper stimulation syndrome, which means that if her ovaries are stimulated excessively with the production of a large number of eggs, she might suffer some severe health consequences. He asserted that this is the responsibility of the fertility specialists to ensure that this does not happen.

Hamed Abo Taleb

Halal or Haram?

As there are some debates over the freezing of eggs being halal or haram in Islam, Hamed Abo Taleb, Professor at Al-Azhar University, and member in the Islamic Research Academy stated to DNE that the process of freezing eggs to benefit from them later is a modern technology that can be utilised and it serves humanity.

“Therefore, Islam does not prohibit the use of this technique, but sets standards to ensure that it does not lead to what is forbidden (Haram),” Abo Taleb continued.

Among these standards, Abo Taleb revealed, is to use these eggs for fertilisation with a husband that is legally married to the owner of the frozen egg and to use the egg in the life of the husband, which means not to mix the egg of the female with the sperm of the husband after death.

“In addition, there is the collection of these frozen eggs in government centres to guarantee that the eggs cannot be tampered with other eggs, to prevent wrong mixing for genealogy,” Abo Taleb added.

“Overall, Islam does not prohibit the use of modern technologies as long as they do not conflict and do not lead to something Haram, but if they lead to something Haram, it is not permissible,” Abo Taleb concluded.

Following the debates which appeared on social media over the topic, Egypt’s Dar Al Ifta, declared a fatwa (religious edict) over the topic stating that freezing eggs is permissible and not prohibited but should be carried under four certain regulations or standards, including that the process of the fertilisation should be carried between a married couple who are the owners of the sperms and the eggs, and that the mixing of the sperm with the egg should be done in the lives of both and during their marriage, not after divorce for example.

In addition to keeping the fertilized eggs completely and safely under strict control, which prevents the deliberate or inadvertent mixing with other saved eggs.

The fertilised eggs and sperms should be injected into the uterus of the owner of the eggs, which means that females could not donate to another female a fertilised egg already mixed with another’s eggs and sperms.

While the last standard is to ensure that the process of freezing the eggs does not have negative side effects on the embryo, such as the occurrence of birth defects, or mental repercussions later in the child’s life.

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Women own only 5.2% of Egypt’s private lands: NCW https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/24/women-own-only-5-2-of-egypts-private-lands-ncw/ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 08:00:17 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705919 30.8% of Egyptian females over 10 are illiterate, says study

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Women own only 5.2% of land in Egypt,” revealed a new study conducted by the National Council for Women in cooperation with the World Bank.

As full access to resources is a strong indicator of women’s empowerment, it is among the SDG targets that aim to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control of land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources, in accordance with the local laws.

“The Egyptian Civil and Commercial Code gives women the right to own and access land, however, an ownership gender gap is prevalent,” according to the study.

The survey mentioned that in rural areas, where land ownership is not only an asset but also reflects social class, families might tend to put pressure on women to sell land to male relatives, a situation which over time, places women at disadvantage both socially and economically.

The study also talked about education, reporting that acording to the 2017 census, 30.8% of Egyptian females over 10 are illiterate compared to 18.5% among men. This percentage is higher in rural reas reaching 38.5% among girls. The rate is also high in Upper Egypt, recording 45% in Minya and 44% in Beni Suef.

One in every four illiterate females is living in one of three governorates: Giza, Minya, or Beheira.

However, illiteracy among females varies according to age group, with higher illiteracy rates found in older age groups.

“Despite the large percentage of women who are illiterate, Egypt has achieved otable success in closing the educational gap, and most education statistics tend to favour women,” accoridng to the NCW.

It explained further that female students, even in rural areas, perform better in terms of achieving secondary education and obtaining their degrees.

Moreover, “the percentage of females earning the secondary school degree is higher than their male counterparts by 6-11% in rural areas of eight Upper Egypt governorates,” accoridng to the results of the study.

Likely, the report mentioned that the number of female students in universities (both public and private) exceeded the number of males, with females making up to 51% of the undergraduate enrollment in the academic year 2014/15.

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Saudi Arabia tries to limit masculinty in society https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/24/saudi-arabia-tries-to-limit-masculinty-in-society/ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 07:30:26 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705907 However, Saudi women did not surrender to this unfairness and opposed this situation, leading the government to make an amendment to travel and passport issuances in 2017.

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Saudi Arabia is now implementing some changes previously announced in the citizens’ civil rights, such as allowing adult women to travel abroad without permission from her “guardian” and to have more authority in family matters, the Saudi press agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

Under the Saudi law, all females must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother, husband or uncle, and all females need the permission of their guardians for marriage, divorce, travel, work, opening a bank account, and elective surgeries. The guardian is the main pillar in Saudi women’s lives which gives men unlimited authority over the family to the extent to depriving women from basic rights.

However, Saudi women did not surrender to this unfairness and opposed this situation, leading the government to make an amendment to travel and passport issuances in 2017.

Thus, if a Saudi woman’s guardian refuses her request to travel or obtain a passport, she can turn to a judge for urgent matters to give her the right without the guardian’s consent, unless this guardian has a “convincing reason” for prevention.

Notably, Saudi women have suffered a lot and have gone a long way to gain their rights. But the year 2017 witnessed radical changes in terms of women’s rights through 2018 and 2019, starting with allowing women to drive, giving them the freedom not to wear abayas, and allowing them to apply for criminal investigator posts in the Saudi Public Prosecution.

Earlier this month, the state started applying changes in travel permits, and the website of Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced allowing women over 21 to leave the country without the guardian’s approval starting from 31 August.

They also granted women for the first time the right to register a child’s birth, marriage, divorce, and other family documents, and to act as a guardian to their children who are minors.

“More than 1,000 women in the country’s Eastern Province had left Saudi Arabia on Tuesday without their guardian’s permission,” Saudi newspaper reported, which means that the new rules have come into effect.

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Meet first female CNC lathe instructor in Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/24/meet-first-female-cnc-lathe-instructor-in-egypt/ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 07:00:45 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705911 Being a female that works in the turning field should be very difficult especially in a masculine society, so Daily News Egypt interviewed Essam to learn more about her journey in this field, her aspirations, obstacles that she faced in this career.

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Egyptian 26-year-old Amira Essam attempted to break the male monopoly over some professions, change the society’s view of women, and prove to the whole world that women can carry out any job and succeed just like men, through becoming the first female CNC Lathe instructor in Egypt.

Being a female that works in the turning field should be very difficult especially in a masculine society, so Daily News Egypt interviewed Essam to learn more about her journey in this field, her aspirations, obstacles that she faced in this career.

“I entered this field at first through a venture due to my grades in the industrial secondary school, that made me enter the Industrial Technical Institute, where I studied how to operate machines in the operation and shaping department,” Essam said.

In this department, she studied all types of machines, but she liked the lathe machine, saying, “what I liked in the lathe machine, is that it can be used in manufacturing simple objects.”

“The lathe machine can manufacture anything in any size and shape any material, for example, I used it to make pencil case, vase, and office desk decoration,” she added.

During my study, I realised that males prefer handwork, while females were always afraid and cautious to work with their hands in practical sessions, as the lathe machine needs some physical strength.

However, I was interested in handworks and the institute’s instructors found that I would be the first female to try everything and has the passion to learn.

Then, I decided to continue in this career, so I enrolled in the Workers University to study lathe.

After graduation, I took many training programmes at the Industry Service Complex of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AAST).

For her high grades in these courses, Essam received a scholarship to study at the Technical and Vocational Institute at the AAST.

After completing the scholarship, she got an offer to join the training staff of the AAST, to be the first female trainer in a turning workshop in Egypt. She now teaches students from engineering faculties.

“I tried to develop my skills, becoming a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Turning instructor also, and I gained experiences in various welding techniques,” she said.

In 2018, Essam participated in the first Egypt Skills competition organised by the AAST. She competed with nine males working in the turning field and she won the second place.

“I faced many challenges, but fought hard and overcome all obstacles,” Essam said proudly.

“The problem that I still suffer from is the reluctance of some people, especially in rural areas, to accept a girl working in the lathe field,” she added.

It was really difficult for her in the beginning to convince her brother to let her work in this career, to operate lathe machines, and teach students in the lathe workshops being a female.

“At first, I suffered from severe judgement, but as time went on, people started to admire my work and the criticism almost disappeared, but of course some people still have objections about the idea,” Essam shared.

She mentioned that only 25% of her students in the workshops are female.

“I want to encourage every female who wants to enter this field, but worried about the society’s judgement, to be confident and ignore negative vibes. Just do it!” she concluded.

Interestingly, Essam is now planning to open a lathe workshop.

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FACE integrates homeless children into society https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/12/face-integrates-homeless-children-into-society/ Mon, 12 Aug 2019 19:41:12 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705000 Belgian woman tries to integrate abandoned, homeless children back into the society.

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When you wander in Egypt’s streets, you may notice some children sleeping on pavements or under bridges, or even begging for money from pedestrians. Those children are known as homeless children or street children. They are victims of different circumstances, like poverty, domestic violence, etc. They are deprived from basic human needs, since they have no family or relatives to turn to, living each day as if it is their last.

Homeless children have no hope for the future, as they are rejected by society, and are often subject to sexual harassment, arrest, organ trafficking, and more. Some of them are engaged in petty theft and prostitution.

Despite all the problems that they face in such difficult environment, they like living in the street as it offers them more freedom, therefore reintegrating them into the society became very difficult and requires a lot of efforts. That’s exactly what Flavia Shaw-Jackson tries to do; integrating abandoned and homeless children into the society. Jackson founded FACE for Children in Need in 2003, an organisation in Egypt to help abandoned and homeless children.

Born in South Africa, Jackson chose Cairo to launch her project, visiting Egypt once every month to follow up the activities of the project.

There are at least 12 million homeless people in Egypt, among them 3 million children, according to the Ministry of Social Solidarity. They are mainly based in Cairo, Giza, Qaliubiya, Alexandria, Menoufiya, Sharqeya, Suez, Beni Suef, Minya, and Assiut governorates.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Jackson to learn more about FACE, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How did you come up with the idea of FACE?

The idea came as I always adored children and I always hated seeing children suffering, then in 1999, I saw a film documenting some children in China who were dying in orphanages, which was really terrible. Hence, I decided to do something for these children, but unfortunately China was too far from me, also keep in mind that at that time I had my first child who was only one-and-a-half years old. So, I started helping children in Belgium. I fostered children that were being abused in Belgium.

Then, I felt like I was really pulled to Africa because I was born in South Africa and I felt that Africa is where my roots are, but it was also far for me, therefore I ended up thinking that I would like to go to Cairo to see how I could help and to be really efficient.

In 2003, I visited the country and I really fell in love with it and its people. I realised that there is a large number of homeless children here. So, I thought to partner with Egypt in order to improve the life conditions of those children.

Then, I launched FACE and registered it in the Ministry of Social Solidarity in 2004. FACE is working now with abandoned children, whether orphans or homeless.

How many projects does FACE have in Egypt?

We have six projects, one in Maadi, two in El Obour, one in Banha, and one in Al-Salam City. Five of them are for abandoned infants and orphans. We have a partnership with the Ministry of Health, where it brings abandoned infants to these centres.

I think what those infants really need is our love and protection, therefore we train our staff thoroughly, and we conduct a psychometric session with the children.

I believe that the physical touch for a baby is very important, so we massage them in order to build a bond between the carer and the child.

Our services also include medical support, as we partnered with Al-Salam hospital which give free medical support for our babies.

FACE’s services also include education, hygiene services, and legal support.

While the sixth centre, which is in Al-Salam city, is for homeless children. I think we are the first project in Egypt for street children. What we do is that we have two teams that work in Cairo’s streets to build trust with the children.

We don’t give anything to the children on street because if we give them money, clothes, or food, we are just making it easier for them to stay on streets. So, they have to enrol in our activities, including drawing and playing puzzles.

We teach them life skills and how to protect themselves in the streets. We believe that children have a lot of freedom in the street. They can get money, food, and drugs. So, we don’t push them to come to our centre, we just tell them that they can come whenever they want, and they actually come.

Once they arrive to our centre, we wash their clothes, offer them breakfast, as well as psychological and medical support.

Keeping in mind that the children live in the streets with no rules, so we have to make them understand that life has rules to respect. We tell them that the centre has rules, so if they made a mistake, they should be punished, but they will decide the type of punishment themselves. It helps them to respect the rules. That’s one step to come back into the society, as they have to learn that there are no rules on the street but if they come back into society, the first step is accepting that there are rules.

We also provide them with psychological and educational support, as we have a Child-friendly schools aim to develop a learning environment in which children are motivated and able to learn.

I want to mention that we have an agreement with the government, they accept our certificate, thus the children can return into the school system. That’s another step toward reintegrating them into the society.

We also do vocational training, and we work a lot with the children to get them back with their families which is very important for us, because 95% of street children have families, so we work not only with the children, but we also work with their families.

When can you say that a child was successfully reintegrated into his family?

We can only say that a child is successfully reintegrated into his family after spending one and a half years with them, and we are supervising this through our social workers who go to the family every month to see if everything’s going well, providing them with the psychological support.

We have a contract with very poor families which states that we will support them, however we don’t give them money, but we offer them required equipment or goods to start a business, on the condition that they promise that their child will go to the school.

How many children do you have in each project?

We have around 50 children in each project.

What are the conditions for accepting children in FACE’s projects?

There are no conditions, we accept all children, whatever their conditions, and the minister knows, I mean when they have difficult cases, they send them to FACE and they know that we would never refuse children.

From where do you get the funding for these shelters?

At the beginning, the project was self-funded. It was just my husband and I who were financing it, and then we asked friends to help us in the funding because it costs too much, then we started getting financial support from Egyptians, and now we have a businessperson who helps us. Also, the European Union gave us a fund.

Do you get donations from smaller donors?

No, we have been working here for many years on our projects, but we have not communicated with Egyptians about FACE itself, so normal citizens don’t know us well, while ministers, NGOs, etc, all know about FACE and we have a very good reputation among them.

Do you think that you need to promote FACE?

Yes, we have to do that, that’s where we need help now. I want to mention that my idea is that FACE must be 100% Egyptian, so we have 190 employees, where 100% are Egyptians today.

That’s because my idea is that one day, I will be able to go back to Belgium and it will be completely Egyptian and they will not need me anymore.

What is FACE’s expansion plan in Egypt?

I personally believe that orphanages are not the right place for children to grow up in. We do have our high-quality orphanages, but we are working with Minister Ghada Waly on closing these orphanages and integrating the children into families.

In your opinion, what are the reasons behind having a large number of homeless children in Egypt?

I think this is due to broken families, abuse and violence within the family, and poverty. When families have financial problems, they can’t even secure food for their children, so the children have to go out to work.

What are the challenges that still hinder NGOs work in Egypt?

The main problem we face is the red tape, but we get a lot of support from the Minister of Social Solidarity, I was impressed by how much she supports us.

How do you see the new NGOs Law in Egypt?

I think it was in need to be updated and nowadays they are modifying quite a few things, as it was complicated for the NGOS. But they are trying now to make it more flexible, so I think they are moving now in the right track.

What is your aspiration?

I hope to close all orphanages and put children in foster families.

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Misr El kheir empowered 2,500 female breadwinners through providing projects https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/02/misr-el-kheir-empowered-2500-female-breadwinners-through-providing-projects/ Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704199 Foundation helped 65,000 indebted female, male inmates, mostly women since establishment

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Misr El Kheir empowered 2,500 female breadwinners either indebted or not across the governorates of Egypt, since its establishment in 2017, through setting up projects for them, according to Fundraising Sector Director, Misr El Kheir Foundation, Amal Mobada.

She explained that the in debtors file topped the priorities of the foundation, as this file is considered important not only in the preservation of the entire family, but also for the development of the society.

In that regard, she stated that Misr El Kheir helped and paid for the release of more than 68,000 indebted female and male inmates since the establishment of Misr El Kheir in 2007, mostly women.

In that context, Mobada revealed that the foundation annually targets to help release about 10,000 or 15,000 female and male indebtors in prison, who are victimised by the circumstances.

Mobada explained that the foundation role begins by following up on the cases of the female indebtors until they leave prison after the foundation negotiates with the creditors and pays the full debt owed to them.

“Our role does not end when the indebted female is out of prison, but out role extends to offering physical and social protection by providing income to the female indebtor’s family,” she continued.

“We have two types of female indebtors, the first type is the female indebtor that couldn’t work due to having a serious disease, thus the foundation provides financial support for them on a monthly basis, in order for them to be able to meet their needs, in addition to benefiting their families from all the programmes of the foundation in the fields of education, health, and social solidarity, ” she said.

“Meanwhile, the second type the female indebtors that could work, here we provide them job opportunities according to the social conditions and the family’s environment. Some of them are trained in crafts and subsequently join the factories of the foundation for hand carpets in Abys in Alexandria,” she stated.

Mobada mentioned that Misr El Kheir came to the village of Abyss seven years ago to help its people, where the foundation helped and released 174 female indebtors, after that the foundation thought about setting up projects to provide them with a constant income for the family so as not to borrow again.

Fundraising Sector Director, Misr El Kheir Foundation, Amal Mobada.

“Thus, we inaugurated our first factory for hand carpets in Abyss then we continued to set up factories, where we currently reached four factories for hand carpets,” she said.

By asking Mobada, if Misr El Kheir sets specific conditions for agreeing to help women indebtors or if there is a maximum amount of money that it pays to release indebtors in prison, she stated that there is no maximum amount, explaining that it depends on the case itself, while talking about the conditions she stated that the indebtor should have a sentence against them, noting that the foundation conducts a field research about the case to ensure the validity of the case, also by asking their neighbours ,etc.

“We also have cooperation protocols with all prisons across all governorates to notify us regularly about the needy cases in prison who are in debt,” she added.

Mobada assured that the file of the imprisoned indebtors is one of the top priorities in Misr El Kheir, noting that most of the donors prefer to pay donations in this file as it is a clear command of the commands of Almsgiving.

She said that the priority of Misr El Khier is not to provide money for needy cases but to develop their skills.

In that context, she stated that the foundation has succeeded in completing the first phase of its plan to empower women and indebted females by encouraging them to develop their skills and produce more products in their regions, in six governorates so far, including Cairo, Giza, Sohag, Alexandria, north Sinai, and south Sinai, as the foundation opened outlets to market women`s products in these governorates.

“The second stage, which includes Nubia in Aswan, Siwa in Matruh and Shalatin, will be completed before the end of this year, where the foundation will also open outlets to market women’s products in the aforementioned governorates,” Mobada revealed.

She explained that at the beginning the foundation has set up small projects for the female indebtors then after some of them were integrated and happy with these small projects, the foundation decided to make a consolidated project under the management of the foundation, highlighting that the establishment of the first factory was four years ago in the village of Abyss in Alexandria, then the number increased reaching the current four operating factories, and, in addition, this year witnessed the laying for the stone of the fifth factory, that is expected to provide 5,000 jobs.

Mobada stated proudly that through these factories the foundation exports handmade carpets to America, Canada, Italy, and the UAE.

Moreover, Mobada shared that the foundation has 175 projects in several areas, including health, social solidarity, education, scientific research, and other life aspects such as culture and sports, in addition to providing support for people with special needs.

She mentioned that the foundation is currently working with its partners, either individuals or companies, on the project of “Sak Al Odohaya,” which means the sacrifice or slaughter of an animal on specific days for the pleasure of Allah.

Mobada explained that the project this year targets to distribute 30,000 “Sak”, declaring that the price of the Sak this year is EGP 3,300 for the purchase of 27 kilos which represents the seventh of the sacrifice.

She stressed that the foundation succeeded the previous year in distributing 28,000 Sak.

Meanwhile, Mobada pointed out that the foundations’ winter campaigns have repaired 3,720 houses, across all Egypt`s governorates since its establishment.

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After appointing new female judge, will Egypt see more women in courts? https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/18/after-appointing-new-female-judge-will-egypt-see-more-women-in-courts/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 20:24:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703068 However, Qandil is not really the first female judge in Egypt’s criminal courts. She was preceded by judge Sally Al-Saidi, who was part of several judicial panels in criminal and misdemeanour courts in 2009. She ruled on 95 criminal cases that year

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Several media outlets recently reported that Fatima Qandil became the first female judge to join a judicial panel of an Egyptian criminal court.

The court was trying a case about stock market manipulation. The judicial panel was led by Mohamed El-Feki and included Mahmoud Rashdan, Abdullah Salam, and Usama Aboushaisha, alongside Qandil. Several individuals from the Mubarak regime are suspects in this case, including the former president’s sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, in addition to seven others.

However, Qandil is not really the first female judge in Egypt’s criminal courts. She was preceded by judge Sally Al-Saidi, who was part of several judicial panels in criminal and misdemeanour courts in 2009. She ruled on 95 criminal cases that year.

Al-Saidi was one of 68 female judges appointed in Egypt’s ordinary courts. She then became a member of the Cairo Juvenile Court in 2009, and later a member of the Cairo Criminal Court.

In 2013, Al-Saidi was appointed as a member of the technical bureau of the Court of Cassation (Criminal Division).

Notably, the role of the technical bureau is to conduct legal research and studies, but this would not give her the authority to try or rule on cases.

The question is: will the media interest of the presence of a female judge, Qandil, in law courts pave the way for more females to be part of the big scene in the Egyptian judiciary?

Before 2003, both the Administrative Prosecution Authority and the State Lawsuits Authority have appointed women in their offices, but no women were allowed in the Egyptian courts.

In 2003, judge Tehani Al-Gebali was the first woman to join the Supreme Constitutional Court by a presidential decree. This was followed by the appointment of 42 female judges to the ordinary courts from 2007 to 2008.

In June 2015, the Ministry of Justice announced the appointment of a new batch of 26 female judges to the ordinary courts. Unfortunately, the government did not take further steps to increase the number of women in the judiciary since then.

Sally Al-Saidi

Are female judges banned from Egyptian judiciary?

The Egyptian judicial system is divided into three branches: ordinary courts, which are entitled to try civil, economic, and criminal cases, administrative courts, which adjudicates disputes involving government actions (and sometimes inaction) and disciplinary actions involving government employees, and the Supreme Constitutional Court, which rules on constitutional matters.

According to the Egyptian constitution, the law graduates can apply to join the administrative prosecution authority, public prosecution, the State Council, and the military prosecution, Omnia Gadallah, founder of “Her Honor Setting the Bar” support campaign of female law graduates, told Daily News Egypt.

Gadallah has filed a lawsuit against the State Council for refusing to enrol women in the body. 

She explained that both administrative prosecution and Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority are judicial bodies, however, the work nature of their members is different than normal judges, as they do not rule on cases.

Even though, women are allowed to enter both. They currently account for 43% of the administrative prosecution members, and represent about 28% of the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority.

Meanwhile, the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court are selected from the best judges in the ordinary courts, the State Council, and the military prosecution. However, no women allowed in the military prosecution.

“The female law graduates have two options; either to apply in the public prosecution to enter an ordinary court, which is difficult as the public prosecution continues to reject women, or to apply in the State Council to enter an administrative court, which is also rejecting female applicants. This means that the ban on female judges continues,” Gadallah said.

In 2009, Egypt’s State Council agreed unanimously to appoint male and female law graduates from the academic years 2008 and 2009.

However, in February 2010, a special committee of the State Council’s general assembly convened and voted against appointing female judges, with an overwhelming majority of 334 against 42 votes.

Therefore, when the public prosecution announced the recruitment of a new batch in 2010, only males could apply.

So, when Gadallah filed a lawsuit against the State Council, this brought the issue of female judge ban to light again and this case is still ongoing until now.

Exclusion of female judges violates constitution

Gadallah told DNE that the exclusion of women clearly violates the constitutional principle of equality, citing some articles in the 2014 Constitution, mainly Article 9. It prescribes that the state is committed to achieving equality among all citizens, without discrimination.

Moreover, Article 11 prescribes that the state must ensure equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

Article 14 also prescribes that citizens have the right to government employment on the basis of competence, without favouritism.

Fatima Kandil

Is appointing female judges in courts still a taboo?

Gadallah said that Al-Saidi and Qandil are among the 66 female judges that were appointed in the ordinary courts, representing 0.5% of 16,000 judges.

“Those female judges were appointed, not selected normally through career progression,” Gadallah explained.

Despite this fact that their selection was not through the career progression, social media and newspapers congratulated the Egyptian women for being empowered.

Mohamed Samir, spokesperson for the Administrative Prosecution Authority, told DNE that the media interest of appointing females in the criminal court is a result of the public argument whether women can hold judicial positions.

According to the Malik and Shafi‘i schools of Islamic law, being a male is a precondition to be a judge. Meanwhile, Abu Hanifa school says that women may be judges in all matters, except “Hudud” crimes, which include theft, robbery, illicit sex, alcohol consumption, and apostasy, and “Qisas”, which refers to offences that involve bodily injury or loss of life. The Hanbali school said that women may become judges in all matters.

Samir explained that the criminal court tries matters related to Hudud, thus women were always excluded.

“Seeing a female judge in the criminal court means that the picture is changing. It shows that we now follow the Hanbali school that permits women to be judges in all matters,” Samir said.

What is the next step?

Samir continued that appointing women in the criminal court was a good step, however, we aspire to more progress.

He explained that the appointment of Qandil was not through the normal procedures as males. He called for ending this gender discrimination, especially in the general prosecution.

Gadallah agreed with Samir, stating that the evaluation of female judges is conducted unfairly. Male judges should not be compared to female judges, as women’s career progression face more challenges than men’s.

In conclusion, the appointment of of Qandil was a good step, but the admission of women to the judiciary system remains dependent on the government’s intervention and civil society organisations’ pressure.

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Changing dominant narrative of women on stage https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/17/changing-dominant-narrative-of-women-on-stage/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 11:30:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702922 To a considerable extent, the media plays a key role in promoting negative concepts and attitudes toward women. Doubtless, the media not only gives people information and entertainment, but it also impacts people’s lives by shaping their opinions and beliefs.

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Despite multiple examples of both electronic and print media that highlight the successes of women in public and private life, women are still seen as too emotional and unable to take substantial decisions in their lives.

It is not just men who assume that women are not decision makers, women also fall prey to the same assumption. To a considerable extent, the media plays a key role in promoting negative concepts and attitudes toward women. Doubtless, the media not only gives people information and entertainment, but it also impacts people’s lives by shaping their opinions and beliefs.

Marwa El- Shinawy

Likewise, gender roles and capabilities are constantly reinforced throughout the media, which influences highly impressionable children and young adults as they develop and form ideas of their own. Hence, women’s representation in the media will not be improved by increasing the number of women’s rights activists, or increasing the number of women’s success stories in newspapers, magazines, and specialised reviews.

What it actually requires is a radical change in the dominant narrative of women in dramatic media (stage and screen) and literature, in an attempt to challenge the negative stereotypical images of women rooted in tradition and culture.

This new positive and empowering image of women is what you can see in Waitress starring Lucie Jones, Ashley Roberts, and Blake Harrison, currently on London’s Adelphi Theatre.

Waitress is the first musical in the history of the English-speaking theatre with an all-female creative team with music and lyrics by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, a book by Jessie Nelson, direction by Diane Paulus, and choreography by Lorin Latarro. 

It is a highly acclaimed feminist drama that defies the negative image of women, and celebrates motherhood as a journey of learning and a builder of strength. The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly.

It tells the story of Jenna Hunterson, a waitress and expert pie maker at Joe’s Diner in the deep south, who is in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl, and tries to leave her small town and loveless marriage.

Obviously, the play focuses on the resilience of women and how they use obstacles to fuel their success. Most importantly, the play highlights women’s capabilities to take decisive decisions and make radical changes in their lives.

From the very beginning Jenna is neither resigned nor apathetic in the face of her immense difficulties. On the contrary, she tries to make of her workplace, the diner, a safe haven away from the realities of her violent home life, adding humour to her unhappy life by naming her tantalising confections after the tumultuous events in her daily life.

However, the pregnancy eventually changes the course of events in her life, giving her an unexpected and newfound confidence. When she discovers that she will be a mother, Jenna decides to use her baking skills as a means to change her miserable life by planning to enter a local pie-baking contest with a large reward, which would allow her to leave her husband for a new life with the baby.

Along the way, she begins an illicit affair with her gynaecologist, Jim Pomatter, for a little while, but she also decides to end this affair to lead a new life as a righteous mother for her newly-born daughter.

In spite of all the obstacles and mistakes in her life, by the end of the play, Jenna manages to be an empowered, financially-independent entrepreneur, the owner, and head chef of the diner. She became a woman who managed to realise her independence, and to create a safe space for herself and her baby, the only one who deserves her love and her protection.

Jenna ends her drama by singing a climactic ballad about crafting a new self, one who will learn “how to toughen up when she’s bruised”.

Certainly, the story of Jenna sends a message of hope, responsibility, and empowerment with a far-reaching impact on the lives of many women throughout the world. 

Marwa El-Shinawy holds a PhD in American theatre, and is a member of the Higher Committee for the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary an Experimental Theatre

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Sexual harassment at workplace: unprotected women https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/15/sexual-harassment-at-workplace-unprotected-women/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:30:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702734 ‘World heading to adopt anti-sexual harassment policies; this must stop,’ says Lawyer

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One of the most significant rights for female workers is to be safe and not to be exposed to any form of sexual harassment in workplace.

However, this seems to be a far-fetched demand, as most local workplaces lack the required regulations that criminalise sexual harassment, despite being already criminalised by the Egyptian law punishing the harasser with at least six month in prison, and if he has an authority over the victim, with two years and up to five years in prison, and fines in some cases.

Millions of women around the globe experience sexual harassment in workplace. However, many of them do not speak up fearing negative consequences, such as being accused of fabricating the incident or constructive dismissal.

For Egypt, a study by the United Nations in 2013 showed that 99.3% of women surveyed have been subject to sexual harassment.

Moreover, the New Woman Foundation published a study in 2009 saying that most Egyptian women surveyed in different governates experienced sexual harassment at public and private workplaces, whether verbal harassment, intimidation, or physical assault. The report also found that sexual harassment has nothing to do with woman’s outfit, age, or social class. Some cases of sexual assault and rape were also reported.

Based on the UN’s definition, sexual harassment is any “improper and unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person.”

“Harassment may take the form of words, gestures, or actions which tend to annoy, alarm, abuse, demean, intimidate, belittle, humiliate, or embarrass another or which create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment,” the UN added.

It could be unwelcome remarks about the appearances of the female employee, undesired touching, offensive jokes, or inquiring about sex life.

Sparked by the MeToo social media campaign which aimed to combat sexual harassment in the world, the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted on 21 June 2019 a landmark international treaty against violence and harassment in workplaces.

“Violence and harassment at work constitute a human rights violation or abuse.” It includes any behaviour that is likely to lead to “physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm or violence, according to the convention.

“Without respect, there is no dignity at work, and, without dignity, there is no social justice,” Director of the ILO’s Work Quality Department at the ILO Centenary Conference in Geneva last month, Manuela Tomei, said.

“I am not safe”

Aya, a 24-year-old customer service agent introduced by her first name only, as per her request, was delivering food at a luxury tourist resort in Sharm El-Sheikh where she works, when her colleague whispered: “what a breast!”

“I heard him. He was pretending that he was checking food orders. Then when I moved to leave, he intentionally touched me with his shoulder,” Aya told Daily News Egypt.

“I did not realise what happened. I was confused. Later, I met my manager because we had an evaluation meeting. After we finished, I told him about the incident,” Aya narrated.

Aya said she always avoided any contact with this colleague because of his inappropriate behaviour.

Aya’s manager opened an investigation into the case. Unfortunately, the administration said that they could not fire or punish him because he denied the harassment and she had no eyewitness to prove what happened.

“During the investigation, I was confused and anxious. My words were out of order so they felt like I might have misunderstood what happened, or wrongly read the situation,” Aya continued.

“I was suspended from work for a day. I am the victim, the one who was sexually harassed and now I am accused of fabricating the incident.”

Aya was blamed because she waited for almost two hours until she decided to speak up about what happened.

“They said if you screamed or called for help, then you could draw anybody’s attention, but now we cannot do anything to him,” she added.

Eventually, the investigation was closed and both were asked to return to work. “I refused the decision. This is not fair, I told them, and I will consider resigning.”

“I am not safe anymore. I do not easily recover from harassment. I have experienced sexual harassment in my childhood and even until now in the streets and transportation services. I faced horrible situations, but this is different, this is where I work and where I should be protected,” Aya noted.

“I respect my body”

It has been almost 11 months since May El-Shamy, a 29-year-old journalist, was dismissed from her work after reporting a sexual harassment incident from her manager.

“I have fought to protect my body, my body is a red line,” El-Shamy told DNE. “He [the accused manager] was always stalking my body, with inappropriate stares and sexual comments,” El-Shamy added.

El-Shamy experienced sexual harassment from her manager, however, she requested not to mention the details of the accident, as she already filed a lawsuit and an investigation is being carried by the public prosecutor.

Moreover, El-Shamy reported the incident to her work’s administration. They offered her an apology from the alleged harasser, but she refused, demanding an announced salary deduction for this manager. Her request was rejected.

They gave her two weeks off. Then after she returned, she was denied entry to her workplace. “I was unfairly dismissed from my work after I filed my complaint. I filed a lawsuit against the manager and a complaint against the administration over my unjustified dismissal,” El-Shamy said.

She took all the required legal procedures to hold her manager accountable. Despite the consequences, El-Shamy never regretted that she spoke up.

“The only thing I regret is that I did not go immediately to a police station and file a report,” El-Shamy shared.

El-Shamy spent 11 months at home jobless. She applied at other places but they dropped her application when they knew she left her previous work after reporting sexual harassment.

“I do not mind starving, but I could never accept to lose my self-respect, I did that because I respect myself,” El-Shamy concluded.

The worst work environment

May Adam, a 24-year-old illustrator and technical support agent, was working at a prestigious company where one of its managers was accused of harassment. “His stares and comments on every female employee’s appearance were aggressive and considered sexual harassment,” Adam told DNE.

She and her colleagues used to ignore him, but when he inappropriately touched one of them, they decided to speak up and file complaints. An investigation was carried by an HR female employee, but the women who filed the complaints were threatened to drop their complaints or they will lose their jobs.

“The administration told us that he did not intend to do this, and if they insist to continue their claims, they could lose their jobs,” Adam noted. 

Eventually, nothing happened and some female employees were transferred to another department. The manager was not punished, and he sometimes harass other women, Adam noted.

After a while, Adam decided to leave her job as she could not stand this work environment. “This was the worst environment in my career; they chose to cover up a harasser instead of punishing him. I am still recovering from the trauma I got from this place,” Adam illustrated.

Marwa Fawzy, a 27-year-old marketer, also experienced sexual harassment at her work. She said that in her previous work –a prominent company– her male colleagues used to say sexual comments about her just because she smokes and has tattoos.

“I was the only woman in the team. They were gossiping about me. When I got married, they hinted that I was pregnant before marriage and feared a scandal,” Fawzy recalled. 

For a safe work environment

As sexual harassment at workplaces is mounting in Egypt, some civil society organisations have provided advice for women if they face harassment.

“Any female worker facing any type of sexual harassment accompanied by threats to prevent her from promotion if she rejects, she must be aware that the harasser is a coward, and she must call for help and draw people’s attention,” Intsar El-Saed, a lawyer and the head of the Cairo Center for Development, told DNE.

Many harassers take advantage of the fact that women will not speak about the incident whatever they do and that females will be afraid and confused, El-Saed added.

“Any woman facing harassment has to threaten the offender that she would file a complaint at the work administration or police. Women have to document everything about the incident because they will need it in the investigation,” El-Saed asserted.

Meanwhile, the lawyer emphasised the need for eyewitnesses. “She might tell trusted colleagues about incidents as harassers might repeat the action with them too,” El-Saed added.

El-Saed pointed out that if a female worker was unfairly dismissed from work due to complaining about harassment, she can file a lawsuit against the company.

For a safe work environment, El-Saed asserted the need to set firm regulations, policies, and sanctions to prevent harassment.

All male workers have to be trained and prepared on professional communication with their female colleagues. “The whole world is heading to adopt anti-sexual harassment policies. This must stop,” El-Saed concluded. 

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Economic empowerment of women among Egypt’s top priorities: NCW  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/economic-empowerment-of-women-among-egypts-top-priorities-ncw/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:00:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702535 International bodies praised increasing women’s representation in parliament to 25%

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The economic empowerment of women through technology and digitisation is one of Egypt’s top national priorities at this stage, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, said.

Morsi’s remarks came during her meeting with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, during the former’s visit to the EU institutions in Brussels last Tuesday.

Morsi highlighted Egypt’s efforts in the field of developing and empowering women in light of the unlimited support from the political leadership to the council, which was reflected in various legislative, political, and economic domains.

She also mentioned the country`s steps in benefiting from digital technology to achieve a real qualitative change in development of women.

For her part, Gabriel praised the steps that Egypt took in the field of women’s empowerment and digitisation, stressing that she is following such developments in Egypt.

“We are ready to cooperate with Egypt at all levels in these two areas to exchange experiences,” she asserted.

Moreover, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi highlighted the major axes through which Egypt is working to address issues of inequality and empowerment of women during his participation in sessions on both topics as part of the G20 summit held in Japan on 28-29 June.

Many international sides participating in the summit praised the great progress Egypt has made in the area of women’s empowerment, presidential spokesperson, Bassam Rady, said.

They also praised the recent constitutional amendments that increased the representation of women in parliament to 25%.

The president also praised the important role played by Egyptian women in the development of society, noting that Egypt has launched several programmes to empower women.

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Why female victims of sexual harassment are often shamed? https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/why-female-victims-of-sexual-harassment-are-often-shamed/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:00:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702530 What is more confusing is to see women justifying male harasser’s behaviour and blame female victims.

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Sexual harassment is a phenomenon that has been perpetuating across Egypt for years, making the country among the most dangerous places for women.

It is still a problematic topic for Egyptian women to talk about. There is some kind of social pressure on women not to speak up about harassment incidents or report them. But you may get appalled by how some women support and justify male harasser’s behaviour, even though women are the primary victims of such abuse in its various forms; verbal, physical, and emotional, in some cases even from close male relatives.

What is more confusing is to see women justifying male harasser’s behaviour and blame female victims.

In this context, a few days ago, Egyptian football player Amr Warda was excluded from the national team participating in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) over accusations of sexual harassment, but he later re-joined the team after pressure from his teammates on the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). Many, including women, defended Warda on the grounds that he is young and deserves a second chance. Warda`s case was not the first of its kind to witness women defended the harasser. Back in the time of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule, a woman, later dubbed “Set el-Setat” (Lady of Ladies), was beaten and harassed by several men in Tahrir Square while protesting against the Brotherhood. At that time, many women blamed the victim on the grounds that she was wearing inappropriate clothes.

Daily News Egypt (DNE) dug further into the issue to know why some women are shaming female victims of sexual harassment? We interviewed women’s affairs experts and psychiatrists.

Alexandra Kinias

Brainwashed that inferiority is their source of power

Alexandra Kinias, a women’s advocate and founder of Women of Egypt initiative specialised in women’s rights, explained that misogyny practiced for thousands of years in patriarchal societies continues to spread in Egypt and in other regions around the world where women are considered inferior to men, and are treated as such.

She added that in Egypt, a country with male dominance, misogyny forms the foundation for the oppression of women. It perpetuates from one generation to another as evident not only in the behaviour of men against women, but also in how the society at all its levels perceives and reacts to these behaviours. Many are appalled by how some women support and justify male harasser’s behaviour, even though they are the primary victims of their abuses in its various forms: verbal, physical, emotional, etc, and often they are personally subjected to these abuses by close male relatives.

“Because it has been wildly publicised that misogyny is a male trait, practiced by men for dominance, many are unaware that it is also practiced by women against their own gender and even their own wellbeing. Many reasons drive women to practice misogyny and advocate for their own submissiveness. In societies where women are still fighting for their rights, such behaviours, practices, and attitudes further hinder their advancement. It is shameful and disturbing when women become victims of other women’s misjudgement and injustice,” Kinias continued.

Explaining to DNE the reasons behind this attitude, Kinias said that females from an early age are brainwashed that inferiority is their source of power, adding that women in patriarchal societies, where misogyny pervades, are raised to obey, please, and work in the relationship; take more care of the men’s needs; avoid confrontations; and become subordinate – not an equal partner – in the relationship.

Girls grow up thinking that their bodies are the root of all evil

Kinias presented another reason, stating that in patriarchal societies, girls are also taught at an early age to loath their bodies and sexuality. They grow up believing that women’s bodies are the root of all evil.

“As a result, no matter what the circumstances are, they believe that women who are harassed, abused, or even raped are at fault. They blame the victims for triggering men’s sexual desires. Not only that, but they also come to the defence of these men, hence, demonstrating a behavioural pattern that perpetuates their own abuse. Never the aggressor’s fault, they rationalise men’s behaviours with excuses that these women were indecently dressed, behaving promiscuously, etc,” she continued.

Females suffer from Stockholm syndrome

“What triggers the behaviour of misogynist women is their suffering from psychological slavery, a condition which commonly became known as the Stockholm syndrome, where the victim sides with the abuser or oppressor,” Kinias said.

Depending on men socially and financially

The more these women, who were raised to obey, please, depend on men socially and financially, siding with the abuser becomes a survival instinct. Their lives, just like the slaves, depend on their abusers, and they develop gratitude for them, even if they were victimised by them first hand.

Envying those who are harassed

Therapist Mohamed Yousef and Jamal Farwiz, a professor of psychology in Cairo University, agreed that girls in their 20s, who justify sexual harassment, are actually envious of those who were harassed.

The therapists further explained that this type of girls deep inside wonder why the harasser did not choose me instead of the victim to harass?!

Women adapt a motherhood feeling toward the harasser

Farwiz added that sometimes women in their 40s and 50s tend to justify the male harasser’s behaviour out of their hidden motherhood feeling that this harasser is like her son. So, they think that the society should give him a second chance and subsequently they try to justify the harassment.

Kinias noted, “Whatever the reasons are, we should admit that those women who support harassers are in fact victims.”

She explained that they reach a state of submissiveness in accepting the abuse and justify the behaviours of harassers.

“They became content with their status quo. They attack other women who stand against harassers or try to help them break free from this cycle. Instead of appreciating the efforts that would alleviate their status, they become more aggressive. Instead of breaking free, they promote their own submissiveness and oppression. In their delusional minds, they believe the cure to social alignments is in their submissiveness and not rebelling against the abusers. In their minds, they believe if women behaved exactly as men wanted them to, they will live a happier life. These justifications became their coping mechanism to oppression,” Kinias concluded.

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Orange Egypt removes Warda from ad campaign after harassment case https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/orange-egypt-removes-warda-from-ad-campaign-after-harassment-case/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 09:30:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702539 Noteworthy, Orange is one of AFCON’s sponsors, currently held in Egypt.

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Egyptian Football player Amr Warda was excluded from Orange Egypt’s new advertising campaign for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after he was accused of sexual harassment.

Noteworthy, Orange is one of AFCON’s sponsors, currently held in Egypt.

After the eruption of the case, Warda was axed from the national team in the AFCON, but he was later pardoned after pressure from his teammates on the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). Many defended Warda on the grounds that he is young and deserves a second chance.

Warda was previously involved in several harassment cases, however social media was divided over the issue.

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Queen Elizabeth II honours Egyptian woman for charity work https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/queen-elizabeth-ii-honours-egyptian-woman-for-charity-work/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 08:30:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702513 US-based Helal received her award at the famous Royal Buckingham Palace in celebration of the queen’s birthday. It was not the first time for Queen Elizabeth II to honour Egyptians.

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Queen Elizabeth II honoured an Egyptian woman called Inas Ibrahim Helal for her outstanding work in their communities in voluntary capacity, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs.

US-based Helal received her award at the famous Royal Buckingham Palace in celebration of the queen’s birthday. It was not the first time for Queen Elizabeth II to honour Egyptians.

The English queen also honoured two Egyptians in the UK, Nemat Talaat Shafik, deputy governor of the Bank of England, and Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church for their outstanding contributions in their fields in 2015.

In 2014, the Egyptian Heart Surgeon Magdi Yacoub was awarded the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth in the New Year Honours.

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ILO adopts new labour standard to limit harassment, violence in workplace https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/ilo-adopts-new-labour-standard-to-limit-harassment-violence-in-workplace/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 10:00:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701399 The Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 and Violence and Harassment Recommendation 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has adopted a new convention and recommendation with the aim of combating violence and harassment in the workplace.

The Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 and Violence and Harassment Recommendation 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against, and 44 abstentions.

Notably, working on the convention started before the widespread protests brought against sexual harassment in 2017.

An unprecedented number of women have come forward to share stories of workplace sexual harassment since the #MeToo movement gained momentum in late 2017.

Hence, the new convention provides a broad definition of what violence and harassment in work means, in addition to where it can take place, assuring that everyone in the workplace has the right to be free from violence and harassment.

The convention will come into force 12 months after two member states have ratified it. The recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the convention could be applied.

This is the first new convention agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011 when the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No 189) was adopted. Conventions are legally binding international instruments, while recommendations provide advice and guidance.

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Six Egyptians among FN’s 50 Most Influential Women in Middle East Finance https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/six-egyptians-among-fns-50-most-influential-women-in-middle-east-finance/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 09:00:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701396 Daily News Egypt sheds the light on the careers of those successful ladies.

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Financial News (FN), a London-based financial newspaper, selected six Egyptians among its list of the 50 Most influential Women in Middle East Finance.

The six women include Yasmin Al Gharbawie, General Counsel at Qalaa Holdings; Soha Ali, Executive Director and Senior Country Officer Egypt and North Africa at JPMorgan Chase; Noha El Ghazaly, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Pharos Holding for Financial Investments; Maha Heba EnayetAlla, head of Strategy, Development, and Governance Sector at Banque Misr; Mervat Zohdy Soltan, Chair and chief executive at Export Development Bank of Egypt; and Mona Zulficar, a founding partner and chair of the Executive Committee of Zulficar & Partners.

Daily News Egypt sheds the light on the careers of those successful ladies.

Yasmin Al Gharbawie

Yasmin Al Gharbawie

She was ranked 11th among the most 50 influential women in the finance sector, according to FN. Lawyer Al Gharbawie first worked at Shalakany Law Office for 10 years, where she was mentored by veteran lawyer Mona Zulficar.

Then, she joined Microsoft. In 2015, she joined Qalaa Holdings, one of the leading investment companies in Africa and the Middle East, whose assets were valued at EGP 88bn in September 2018. Gharbawie is currently part of the management committee of Qalaa and leads her team to support investment deals, offshore operations, and regulatory matters.

She is heavily involved in Qalaa’s investment in one of Africa’s biggest financial deals, the Egyptian Refining Company, to create a $4bn oil processing plant.

Soha Ali

Ranking 21st, Ali stewarded JPMorgan’s business in some of the world’s toughest and most volatile markets, and more than doubled revenues across its Egypt and North Africa operations in the past three years.

Conditions have improved in Egypt, where she has ensured JPMorgan is well-positioned to benefit from the country’s new-found confidence in international capital markets–the United States bank acted as lead bookrunner on Egypt’s $4bn sovereign bond in February this year.

Previously, running cash management in the region for Deutsche Bank, followed by a stint as head of treasury services for North Africa at BNY Mellon in Cairo, Ali joined JPMorgan in 2010, when the Arab Spring was just around the corner.

She has since grown overall bank-wide revenues from the region more than five times, with transaction banking as a particular strength. The Cairo-based native Arabic speaker, who is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, manages key financial, government, and corporate relationships at JPMorgan. She was recently appointed to the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and co-chairs its banking and finance committee.      

Noha El Ghazaly

Noha El Ghazaly

El Ghazaly was ranked 27th among the 50 list, and she is the only woman to run a top-five investment bank in Egypt. El Ghazaly joined Pharos in May 2018, tasked with rebuilding the unit following the pound floatation in 2016.

Therefore, she implemented a new strategy to focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and capital market transactions. In 2018, she closed the $29m acquisition by Mondi, a UK-listed packaging company, of the Cairo-based National Company for Paper Products and Import & Export. She continues to build the business by hiring fresh talent. El Ghazaly previously spent a decade at HC Securities & Investment, an Egyptian investment bank, where she cut her teeth working on M&A deals, advising on transactions, including BNP Paribas’ sale of its Egypt business to Emirates NBD.

Maha EnayetAlla

Ranking 29th,

EnayetAlla has a pivotal role overseeing the strategy of Egypt’s second-biggest state-run lender as the country tries to revive its economic footing. The most senior woman on Banque Misr’s executive management, she has a busy year ahead with the Egyptian government planning to raise $400m through the sale of a stake in Banque du Caire, which is wholly owned by Banque Misr.

EnayetAlla joined Banque Misr in 2010 after 25-year experience in corporate banking and retail development at Chase National Bank, part of Chase Manhattan Bank. EnayetAlla is also responsible for Banque Misr’s sustainability programme, a big business for the bank, which reported total net profits of EGP 4.1bn in June last year.

Mervat Zohy Soltan

Mervat Soltan

Ranked 47th, Soltan has more than 35 years of banking experience, lately at HSBC Middle East in Dubai. Cairo-based Soltan has overseen one of the biggest providers of export and trade finance to Egyptian companies since November 2016.

During a period of structural reform of the Egyptian economy, as executive chair, she has more than doubled net profits from EGP 336m ($20m) to EGP 703m ($42m) in the past two years, and increased the bank’s client base from 250 to nearly 500.

She also drove the bank’s five-year strategy, which includes a greater focus on Africa to help grow Egyptian exports.

Soltan, who also spent 14 years at Deutsche Bank in Cairo until 2009, was appointed chair of the Export Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt in October.

Mona Zulficar

Rankeing 50th, Zulficar has more than 40 years of experience in law practice. She is the founding partner, besides 10 other partners and 40 lawyers, of one of the most renowned international corporate law and arbitration practice firms based in the heart of Cairo, Zulficar & Partners.

Though the firm was built only 10 years ago, she has already established legal practices in banking, finance, capital markets, and M&As with a clientele of iconic names, such as Citibank, Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan, and BNY Mellon. She is also an adviser to the Egyptian minister of finance, the Capital Markets Authority, and the Central Bank of Egypt. In addition to her previous employment at the World Health Organization and the UN Human Rights Council, she was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2009 for her role in landmark deals between Egypt and France.

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Why is divorce the easiest choice for Egyptian couples? https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/why-is-divorce-the-easiest-choice-for-egyptian-couples/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 08:00:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701395 In 2017, a report issued by the Cabinet Information Centre revealed that Egypt ranks first in the world in terms of divorce rates, after it increased from 7% to 40% during the last 50 years.

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The number of divorce cases recorded during March this year reached 17,000 from only 15,000 in March 2018.

This is an increase of 13.4%, according to the bulletin released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on marriage and divorce statistics in Egypt during March.

On the other hand, the bulletin also showed that the number of marriages increased in March reaching 64,000, compared to only 60,000 in the same period in 2018–a rise of 13.2%,

The bulletin mentioned that the number of divorces that occurred in March 2019 accounted for about 26% of the total number of new marriages in March.

In 2017, a report issued by the Cabinet Information Centre revealed that Egypt ranks first in the world in terms of divorce rates, after it increased from 7% to 40% during the last 50 years.

After the thrill of the wedding dies out, newly-wed couples oftentimes discover that marriage is not as easy as it sounds when they hit the first speed bump down their new road. Issues ranging from boredom to financial instability may lead to divorce.

What are the causes for these high divorce rates in Egypt? Is the problem in living conditions and that the couples don’t comprehend the requirements of the marital home? Or it is the problem of a wrong choice from the beginning?

Daily News Egypt dug further into these questions, by asking experts and couples themselves, to learn more about the issue of failed marriages.

Couples are not eligible for marriage

Hanan Sabry, a life coach, told Daily News Egypt that amongst the many reasons for divorce rates, new couples are just often not ready to get married. They do not fully comprehend the requirements of marriage, or the responsibilities that they must face in wedlock, she explained.

She also noted that no one in Egypt reads books about marriage before getting married to know what to expect beforhand.

Agreeing with Sabry, Hala Ahmed, a journalist, stated that marriage became a routine measure that young adults take as if it is the equivalent of completing their education.

Women became more financially independent

Meanwhile, Nour Salah, an account manager in a digital marketing company, has another opinion which is that nowadays most of women, despite their social standing, became more financially independent and are aware of the importance of having a job.

The concept of ‘stay at home’ as ‘he’ is the one who spends money on ‘you’ has been declining. In turn,  the decision of divorce become easier. Unfortunately, many statistics revealed that one of the main reasons for staying in an abusive marriage in the past was that women have no source other income.

Cheating is the knockout for any marital relationship

Ahmed Atef, engineer, stated that cheating is the main factor and the first reason behind high divorce rates, describing it as the malignant disease that uproots the marital relationship from the roots and throws it in the wind.

Sabry revealed that, among the reasons for high divorce rates in Egypt, intimacy in relationships between married couples has become very limited due to an increase in porn online watching addiction, the spread of affairs, and other forms of infidelity in Egypt.

Loss of interest, gap in communication 

Moreover, Sabry pointed out that men sometimes prefer to escape from their home, spend most of their time with friends at cafés or at work doing nothing. This could be because they feel uncomfortable or unhappy at home. This leaves women alone at home with children. In the long run, such a situation  also results in fathers feeling disconnected from their children.

Sabry noted also that the gap in communication happens as each partner has their own priorities and interests. To fix a communication issue, they must share these interests together.

Living conditions

Hams Tamer, a professor in the Faculty of Mass communication, explained that the living condition and the increase in prices puts a higher level of stress on men to fulfil the requirements of their homes.

“As a result, some of them spend most of their time outside home searching for or working another job, so they do not spend time with their wives. Others sit and spend their time with their wives at home but are thinking and stressing about how to fulfil house requirements,” she added.

“In both cases, women feel unhappy in these marriages, alone, and demand to get divorced” she continued.

Boredom is one of most common causes of divorce

Sabry stated that the boredom is one of the most common causes of divorce. At some point the couple gets bored from the daily routine of marriage and its, oftentimes, permanent pattern.

Higher expectations about marriage life

Medhat Ali, a director, stated that the fictional image of marriage that the media presents in films taught young adults an incorrect idea. Films usually show that marriage is linear, happy, and clear. Meanwhile, in fact, marriage is not like ‘your typical Hollywood film.’

Every marriage has issues, it is up to the couple to fix those issues together.

“Neglecting the fact also that your partner is a human creature not an angel,” he said.

Tips for limiting the higher divorce rate

Finally, the reasons behind the higher divorce rates are diverse, however the result is the same, thus Sabry gave some tips for the new couples in order to limit the divorce rates.

Sabry noted that the solution to all those aforementioned problems is that new couples should take courses before marriage to become prepared for marriage, which are regularly held at mosques and churches.

“Also, reading a lot of books about marriage because culturing yourself reduces the incidence of problems,” she said.

When the knot is tied and the “I do’s” are said, it is important to keep the marriage alive by taking up each other’s interests such as, going to the gym together, celebrating anniversaries, or simply devoting a day a week for a dinner date.

“Taking into consideration that every age comes with new skills and changes that occur in men and women that must be accepted and dealt with in the right way,” she asserted.

Finally, she said that when women focus on their dreams, this will solve a large portion of the problems that Egyptian families face, as they will be more focused on their own life and not as preoccupied with their husbands’ lives, hence men will be happier in their homes and will not try to spend most of their time out of them.

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Average life expectancy of Egyptian females increased to 74.7 years in 2018 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/average-life-expectancy-of-egyptian-females-increased-to-74-7-years-in-2018/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 01:04:55 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700786 The highest survival expectancy for females aged 60-64 years was 18.8 years, compared to18.3 years for males, and the lowest age expectancy (75 years and over) was 8.5 years compared to 9.7 years for males in 2018

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Life expectancy at birth for females increased from 72.5 years in 2014 to 74.7 in 2018, compared to 69.7 years for males in 2014 and 72.3 in 2018, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in its latest report.

The highest survival expectancy for females aged 60-64 years was 18.8 years, compared to18.3 years for males, and the lowest age expectancy (75 years and over) was 8.5 years compared to 9.7 years for males in 2018.

In terms of the female mortality rate, the CAPMAS revealed that it decreased slightly from 5.6 deaths per 1,000 females in 2014 to 5.3 deaths per 1,000 females in 2017.

Regarding the causes of the female mortality rate, the CAPMAS disclosed that 50.6% of female deaths in 2017 were due to periodic system diseases.

“Female mortality rate due to circulatory system diseases decreased slightly from 50.9% in 2014 to 50.6% of total female mortality in 2017 and mortality rate due to digestive system diseases decreased from 9.5% in 2014 to reach 8.9% of total female mortality in 2017,” according to the CAPMAS.

Moreover, it further showed out that female deaths due to respiratory system diseases decreased from 8.3% in 2014 to 8.0% in 2017, while female mortality rate due to tumours was 6.7% in 2014, compared with 6.4% in 2017.

The lowest percentage of female deaths was due to pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperal diseases, as the report presented that it decreased from 0.2% in 2014 to reach 0.1% in 2017.

Furthermore, the maternal mortality rate decreased from 52 women per 100,000 live births in 2014 to 46 women in 2017, according to the CAPMAS.

Notably, maternal mortality rate is defined as the number of mothers who die during a specific calendar year due to pregnancy, childbirth, or during the 40 days following birth.

The CAPMAS monitored that the rate of older women with difficulties from high to absolute in 2017 represented 12.3% of total senior women in Egypt.

It further revealed that the difficulty of walking or climbing stairs represented the highest percentage of difficulties in that age group (60 years and over), where it reached 9.9% for females compared to 6.8% for males.

 

Governmental efforts to improve women’s health conditions in Egypt

A source from the National Council for Women (NCW) explained that these improvements in the health of Egyptian women are due to the efforts of the NCW and the ministry of the social solidarity including, having a bill against the marriage of underage girls.

In addition to the draft law to protect women from violence, as well as the early detection of breast cancer in full for 52,000 cases through the NCW branches, the Women’s Health Center, the Ministry of Health, the Oncology Institute, the Nasser Institute, and the Baheya Hospital.

In terms of the ministry of social solidarity’s efforts to improve the women’s health, she explained that it includes raising awareness of 1.150 million families on the importance of family planning and providing free family planning services to women through 92 NGOs in 10 governorates.

In addition, there is a need to implement 439,000 visits and 51,000 women have been transferred to health units and clinics to receive service.

“Also, it should be mentioned that 33 family planning clinics have been equipped and developed by NGOs, and doctors and nurses are provided to ensure regular service, and 37 additional clinics are being developed in underserved areas, as well as launching intensive media and field campaigns, and devoting the capacity of 1,271 community educators to raise awareness,” she noted.

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Maya Morsi demands from drama producers to present respectful values towards women https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/maya-morsi-demands-from-drama-producers-to-present-respectful-values-towards-women/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 01:01:15 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700784 President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, demands from the drama producers to focus on presenting respectful values and protection for women in their dramatic productions

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President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, demands from the drama producers to focus on presenting respectful values and protection for women in their dramatic productions.

She explained that one single scene of drama could destroy the efforts of the state and the strategies that are being put in place to combat violence against women, pointing out that violence against women is not an authentic Egyptian value.

Her remarks came during the press conference organised by the NCW on Tuesday, to present the results of the report on the media’s treatment of the image and issues of women in reference to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

In that context, Morsi highlighted during her speech the importance of presenting the image of women in dramatic productions in a decent manner and addressing women’s issues through dramas in a positive way.

She stated that this year, the positive image of women was appeared more than the negative images, pointing out that there is a commitment to the ethical code of the media established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Morsi aspires to increase women’s lead characters and, more importantly, to see drama producers convey the message that Egyptian girls and women are strong, successful, and leaders, assuring that their empowerment in society is supported by showing successful female role models.

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Nutrifuel: Food Quality, Not Quantity https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/nutrifuel-food-quality-not-quantity/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 00:56:20 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700780 Nutrifuel provides healthy meal delivery services to the clients’ door steps

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“Do not focus on how much you eat but focus on what you eat,”: through this concept a nutritionist called Cherryhan Salvedia graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Al-Qasr Al-Eini, and launched her own project entitled ‘Nutrifuel.’

Nutrifuel provides healthy meal delivery services to the clients’ door steps.

“There are many nutrition plans out there, but which fits your body and lifestyle the most, this is what I am trying to offer my clients and patients after asking and knowing from them some details about their in-body, in order to set for them the better guidance and long-life results,” Salvedia believes.

 

 

She stated that Nutrifuel is a project that serves people who want to lose weight or want to eat healthy food through three services. First of which is to design a healthy meal plan for the client if he/she does not follow-up with a nutritionist doctor. Secondly, is to prepare for them healthy food. And finally, to deliver these healthy foods to clients’ doorsteps.

“I chose the name Nutrifuel as a way to simply express the idea of my project,” she noted.

Concerning the safety of the food, Salvedia shared that she takes all the infection control procedures but she is also working on taking an accreditation of the safety of food from the ministry of health.

In that context, she stated that she does not use any shipping companies for that reason, but rather she depends for the delivery on trustworthy persons whom she knows.

Salvedia narrated that she started her own nutrition clinic two years, then she noticed that most of her patients are motivated to eat healthy food. However, they sometimes get lazy to buy and cook healthy food, and sometimes they say that they have no time to buy the ingredients.

“So I began to think to solve the problem by offering them to buy and cook for them the needed healthy food, and then I thought why not expand this project to serve all the people not only my patients,” she continued.

“I was surprised by how the people were interested, most people are motivated to eat healthy and they became more aware about the impact of having a healthy life style,” Salvedia asserted.

“But they need a lot of psychological support, and still we need to work on raising awareness that losing weight is not only related to going to gym and taking tablets, but the main task that you have to do to lose weight is to eat healthy food,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, throughout my experience in nutrition, I found that most of my patients that are overweight are housewives, as they love eating but they don`t know the right and healthy way for eating healthy food,” Salvedia revealed.

Salvedia disclosed that throughout her experience in nutrition, she found that women and girls in Egypt mostly suffer from a deficiency of zinc and calcium in their blood.

She explained that the lack of zinc comes as a result of a lack of vitamin C and the lack of calcium comes as a result of a lack of vitamin D.

So, she advises every woman to expose her child to the sun until the age of six-years-old in order to gain enough vitamin D and to make them eat fresh vegetables and fruits that contain vitamin C.

“We need to teach women and girls in Egypt to notice the changes that happen in their shape, hair, etc, in order to be able to simply explain their problem to know exactly what vitamins their bodies need,” she shared.

“My only hope is to see people living a happy, healthy life without using or taking any drugs, as every drug is extracted from a specific plant that we can eat instead of taking the drug,” Salvedia concluded.

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What economic future motherhood at 18 looks like https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/14/what-economic-future-motherhood-at-18-looks-like/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:05:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700412 Motherhood before 18, economic opportunities

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The phenomenon of having a child before the age of 18 is still high, however there are efforts being taken globally to limit this phenomenon.

The global adolescent birth rate has declined from 65 births per 1,000 women in 1990 to 47 births per 1,000 women in 2015. Despite this overall progress, because the global population of adolescents continues to grow, projections indicate the number of adolescent pregnancies will increase globally by 2030, with the greatest proportional increases in west and central Africa and eastern and southern Africa, according to the World Health Organization ( WHO).

Every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2 million girls aged under 15 become pregnant in developing regions. Approximately 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2.5 million girls under 16 give birth in developing regions, according to the WHO.

 

 

Additionally, regional differences reveal unequal progress: adolescent birth rates range from a high of 115 births per 1,000 women in west Africa to 64 births per 1,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45 births per 1,000 women in south-eastern Asia, to a low of 7 births per 1,000 women in eastern Asia. There are also up to three times more adolescent pregnancies in rural and indigenous populations than in urban populations, according to the WHO.

Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem that occurs in high, middle, and low-income countries. Around the world, adolescent pregnancies are more likely to occur in marginalised communities, commonly driven by poverty and lack of education and employment opportunities.

Many studies discussed the negative impact of having a child at 18-years-old on women’s health and social life, while no study addressed its negative impact on the economic empowerment of women.

Thus, in line with the spirit of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference–which focused on power, progress, change–Women Deliver and the Population Council conducted a new study exploring the association between having a child before 18 and economic opportunity. The findings have implications for both the individual’s power (girls’ and women’s individual power, self-esteem, and agency) and structural power (the systems, barriers, and opportunities for progress in power relations, including political, economic, and social structures).

Noteworthy, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference is considered the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women that is held this year on the period from 3 to 6 June in Vancouver, Canada.

An analysis of data representing more than 600 million women, aged 20 to 49, from 43 low- and middle-income countries, found that there is a strong and consistent lifelong negative association between giving birth before 18 and a woman’s economic empowerment.

Childbearing before 18 is widespread. Despite global declines in the rates of adolescent childbearing in the last 25 years, the study found that it remains common in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where in nearly a dozen countries at least 30% of women have a child before 18.

According to the report, women, aged 20 to 24, who had a child during adolescence are 1.2 times more likely to work than their peers. Young mothers may be pushed into working by economic necessity. This effect of adolescent childbearing on employment disappears among women aged 25 to 49.

Unfortunately, the report disclosed that women who have a child before 18 are set back economically throughout their lives. Across all age groups, working women who had a child during adolescence are less likely to earn cash for their work than women who did not have a child during adolescence.

The report found out that most women, aged from 20 to 49, are employed, however the work is often not economically compensated or empowering.

“More than half of all women in more than three quarters of the countries analysed were employed. Employment tends to be lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds and increases steadily with age, and in some countries levels off after age 40,” the report explained further.

Furthermore, the report illustrated out that the percentage of women paid in cash for their work varies widely across countries, while the percentage of working women paid in cash ranges from less than 30% in Burundi and Rwanda to more than 90% in South Africa, the Maldives, Guatemala, and Colombia.

“Unpaid work outside the household is the second most common form of employment in 22 of 43 countries after cash payment, and the most common form of employment in five countries. Overall, unpaid work outside the household accounts for at least 10% of women’s employment in more than half of the countries analysed,” the report stated.

It also revealed that married or cohabiting women’s control over their cash earnings generally unfortunately remains low, stating that Less than 50% of married women work, earn cash, and have control over their earnings across all countries studied, except Togo and Cambodia.

The report ensured through these results that when a woman gives birth before 18, her economic and financial options become more limited throughout her lifetime.

Thus, they thought about what governments, policymakers, civil society, and donors can do in order to end the phenomenon of giving birth before 18.

Among the recommendations is improving the provision of, and access to, high-quality, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health service and information, including voluntary, modern contraception, and safe abortion, before, during, and after girls and women have begun having children.

Additionally, developing policies and programmes to open up a range of employment opportunities that are economically empowering for girls and women, including those that are compatible with motherhood such as social protection systems (for example, parental leave policies, senior pensions, flexible working hours, child allowances) and recognising and valuing unpaid care work.

This is in addition to committing to collect nationally representative gender- and age-disaggregated data and using evidence to inform policies and practices.

Commenting on the study, President and CEO of Women Deliver, Katja Iversen, said that the study examines complex issues, but the implications are simple, in order to move the needle on gender equality, women need to be able to control their own fertility and their own earnings.

“We need societal investment in access to modern contraception, safe abortion, and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as in expanding economic opportunities for all girls and women,” Iversen asserted.

The ability to earn and control cash represents more than just earnings—it influences a woman’s ability to make strategic life choices,” said Stephanie Psaki, PhD, deputy director of the Population Council’s Girl Center.

“This is one of the first studies to show consistently across so many countries and settings that having a child early can impact future earning potential,” Psaki added.

Furthermore, “The study confirms that early life events can shape the trajectory of a young woman’s life,” said Julia Bunting, OBE, president of the Population Council.

“Policymakers need to invest in better understanding the trade-offs girls and women face and prioritise actions that will ensure girls and women have a full range of life options,” Bunting added.

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Story behind Egypt’s National Day for Elimination of FGM https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/14/story-behind-egypts-national-day-for-elimination-of-fgm/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:58:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700408 National Council for Women launches "Boudor’s Month" campaign against FGM

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Every year the 14 of June marks Egypt’s National Day for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which was set by the Egyptian ministry of family and population in 2008, currently replaced by the ministry of health and population. The date was chosen to commemorate the death of a 12-year-old girl called “Boudor” who passed away after being subjected to FGM.

 

 

Boudor’s story dates back to 14 June 2007, when her mother took her to a clinic in Minya governorate, hours after she learned of her daughter’s success in the final exam of Grade 5 in primary school.

The mother went to the clinic and paid the doctor EGP 50 for the FGM operation. Then, the mother narrated that she left her daughter and went out to buy a medicine required by the doctor, and unfortunately when she returned to the clinic, she was surprised that her daughter’s face had turned blue. She thought that Boudor is only exhausted from the operation, but in fact the girl was dead.

Sadly, Boudor died as a result of an anaesthetic overdose, as later evidenced by the forensic report. However, the doctor denied in front of the court her responsibility for the death of the girl, and tried to persuade the mother to waive the record against her in exchange of EGP15,000, but the mother refused of course.

In 2008, Egypt imposed the penalty of imprisonment for between three months and two years on practitioners who commit the offense in the Law No. 126 of 2008. In August 2016, the government enacted a legislation to criminalise FGM in Article 242(bis) of the Criminal Code.

Meanwhile, the court sentenced the suspected doctor for one year in prison and fined her EGP 1,000.

Despite how harmful this incident was, it represents a turning point on the war against FGM in Egypt. Days after the death of Boudor on 28 June 2007, the ministry of health issued a Decree No 271 prohibiting FGM.

At that time, the Dar al-Ifta, Egypt’s central authority for issuing religious rulings, also banned the practice of FGM.

This year, Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW) and head of the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM, and Azza al-Ashmawi, secretary-general of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, launched a campaign entitled “Boudor’s Month” to raise awareness of the negative impacts of FGM countrywide. The campaign runs for a month staring from 13 June to 14 July 2019.

 

Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW) and head of the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM

Fortunately, the rates of FGM in Egypt are declining. It reached 92% among married women aged between 15-49, 85% among young women in the 20-25 age group, and 72% among girls in the 13-17 age group, as reported by the youth and population survey in Egypt.

However, there is a significant increase in the percentage of girls being circumcised by healthcare providers, reaching 65% among girls aged 13-17 years old, compared to 31% among married women aged between 15-49, according to the Population Council.

Commenting on the issue of medicalising FGM, Country Director of the Population Council in Egypt, Nahla Abdel-Tawab, told Daily News Egypt that it is important to spread sufficient awareness in order to eliminate the phenomenon of FGM, especially by healthcare providers, which is the medicalisation of FGM.

She explained that although most doctors are aware that circumcision is illegal, some of them conduct the surgery under other names, or suggest other doctors.

Abdel-Tawab added that doctors and nurses’ information on sexual health is very limited, and that they are not sufficiently aware of the psychological and health damages caused by female circumcision.

Furthermore, Abdel-Tawab stressed the need to consolidate efforts to work toward eradicating FGM, urging all government bodies and NGOs to incorporate in their plans and programme efforts to decrease the medicalisation of FGM, as well as to reduce the demand for circumcision by raising the awareness of families of the long- and short-term negative impacts of FGM.

Most of the activities against FGM did not sufficiently target men and young people, despite their indirect role which affects the decision to circumcise females, Abdel-Tawab declared.

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Egypt 1st to implement UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal Programme in tourism sector https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/30/egypt-1st-to-implement-undps-gender-equality-seal-programme-in-tourism-sector/ Thu, 30 May 2019 11:00:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699482 The GES UNDP country offices’ aim is to integrate gender equality into all aspects of their development work.

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The Egyptian Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Egypt, has announced its intention to obtain the UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal (GES) in the tourism sector.

The GES UNDP country officesaim is to integrate gender equality into all aspects of their development work.

This announcement came during a ceremony in which Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, explained the requirements and the steps for obtaining the GES.

She explained that the fifth pillar in the tourism reform programme that was launched by the ministry in November, is focusing on global tourism trends which include promoting the economic empowerment of women by increasing the female workforce in the tourism sector.

“Tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income generation from various sources and can be a tool for women to become fully engaged and lead in society. This can be achieved through some policy tools including diversity management, in addition to awareness campaigns for fighting sexual harassment, as well as spreading non-discriminatory values in staff recruitment and training,” Al-Mashat added.

Furthermore, she explained that the requirements for having the GES includes eliminating the gender-based pay gaps, increasing women’s roles in decision making, enhancing work-life balance, enhancing women’s access to non-traditional jobs, eradicating sexual harassment in the work place, and using inclusive, gender-sensitive communication.

The minister asserted the ministry’s keenness to increase the number of women working in the tourism sector, referring to the cooperation between the ministry and the private sector in this regard, especially in the field of training, and providing a suitable working environment for women.

Moreover, Al-Mashat also praised the NCW`s efforts to promote women’s rights and freedoms, as well as non-discrimination and equal opportunity principals.

For her part, the president of the NCW, Maya Morsi, revealed that Egypt is the first country in the world to launch the seal of equality in the tourism sector, and many countries will benefit from Egypt’s experience.

Morsi stressed that there are many women who became pioneers in a number of fields that have been occupied by women for the first time, and are taking part in decision-making.

Talking about women’s achievements, the president of the NCW noted that it is the first time for women to become the president’s advisor for national security affairs.

She also emphasised that women currently represent 15% of the parliamentary seats in 2018, up from only 2% in 2013, which is considered the highest percentage ever in the history of the Egyptian Parliament.

Morsi also mentioned that the unemployment rate for women in Egypt has significantly decreased, elaborating that the unemployment rate among women decreased from 24% in 2014 down to 21.4 % in 2018, then to 19.6 % in the first quarter of 2019.

Proudly, Morsi disclosed that girls currently represent 54% of the university students, while 46.5% of those holding a master’s degree and a PhD are women.

She also referred to the increased number of female ministers gradually from 6% in 2015, up to 20% in 2017, and then 25% in 2018, adding that it is also the highest ever in Egyptian history in this regard.

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Ramadan dramas witness decline in violence against women, use of profanity: NCW https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/30/ramadan-dramas-witness-decline-in-violence-against-women-use-of-profanity-ncw/ Thu, 30 May 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699479 Morsi noted that this committee will prepare a content analysis to produce a report on the media’s treatment of the image and issues of women in regards to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

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Ramadan dramas witnessed a decline in violence against women, as well as a decline in the use of profane language in portraying negative images of women, according to the initial indicators of  the National Council for Women (NCW), which include monitoring results for the image of women in Ramadan dramas and commercials.

Earlier, the President of the NCW, Maya Morsi, announced that the council established a committee headed by Suzan Al-Kalini, head of the media committee at the NCW, to monitor the image of women in series, commercials, and programmes to be screened on television during the holy month of Ramadan.

Morsi noted that this committee will prepare a content analysis to produce a report on the media’s treatment of the image and issues of women in regards to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

A final report will be prepared by the end of Ramadan, including the monitoring results and recommendations. Subsequently, the analysis will be submitted to the Supreme Council for Media Regulations and publicised in various media outlets.

Furthermore, Morsi stressed the council’s role in taking a strong and swift stance toward any violation which damages the image of women, adding that this monitoring will also include daily printed media.

For her part, Al-Kalini stated that the number of series to be analysed this year are 28 drama series, in addition to advertisements.

She explained that a considerable team was chosen to monitor the image of women in the series of Ramadan 2019, consisting of committee members, in addition to nearly 200 students from the Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University, from the radio and television, public relations, and library departments.

The NCW revealed in the initial report for the image of women in Ramadan 2019, that series this year, largely abided by the media code for women, which was issued by the NCW in 2017 and was approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Notably, the code calls for a better portrayal of women, and it was issued by the NCW in 2017 following public fury over the portrayal of women in some Ramadan shows in 2016.

Following this, the NCW also created a committee to monitor how women are portrayed on television screens, which has been in effect for the past three seasons of Ramadan.

Unfortunately, the 2019 initial report noted this year that series largely use sexual innuendos, giving examples like “Fekra B million Geneah,” (an idea worth EGP1m), “ El Princesa Baisa,” (Princess Baisa), “Hadota Mora,” (Mora`s Story), “ El Wad Sayed El Shahat,” ( Sayed the beggar), Alamet astafham,(question mark), “Shaaet Faisal,” (Faisal Flat,)”El zoga 18,” (wife number 18), “ Wald El Gahalaba,” (son of the kind people).

The report also disclosed that many series featured this year the issue of polygamy including, “El zoga 18,” “Abn El Asool,” (son of proper people,) “Weld El Ghalaba,” (son of the kind people), and “ Shaaet Faisal” (Faisal Flat).

Moreover, the issue of sexual harassment was featured in more than one series, whether verbally or physically such as the series of Weld El Ghalaba, Qamar Hadea, El zoga 18, Princesa Baisa, Mamlaket El Ghagar (kingdom of Gypsies).

Furthermore, the report disclosed that the issue of domestic violence has been the subject of many series.

The NCW`s committee stated that series this season portrayed women with disabilities, some negatively whereas others were portrayed positively.

In addition, the NCW`s committee also monitored the issue of drugs and smoking among women in the series of the “Zai El Shams” (like the sun),“Hekayty” (My story), “Qamar Hadea,”( quiet moon), “Qabel,”(Abel) “ Shaet faisal, Alamet Astafham, “Le Akher nafas (For the last breath), and Hadota Mora.

The series focused more on mature women rather than their childhood or adolescence. The series also were interested more in women in urban areas than in rural areas.

The report mentioned that the series presented women in the average income groups and the lower income groups more than that of those of higher income groups.

The NCW mentioned that there are 25 series this year, and from them there are only eight dramas which included female lead characters.

The eight dramas are “Zai El Shams”, starring Dina Al-Sherbini; “Hadotet Mora” , starring Ghada Abdel Razek; “Hekayty”, starring Yasmin Sabry; “Badal Al Hadota Talata”, starring Dounia Samir Ghanem; “Super Mario,” starring Emy Samir Ghanem; ” Priness Bissa” , starring Mai Ezz ElDein, and finally the last one is “Mamlaket ElGhagar,”where there is shared starring lead roles between Fifi Abdo and Horaya Farghaly.

Compared to last year, there were 30 series, with 11 dramas which included female lead characters or equal leads between males and females, and where women lead characters were a mere seven.

The 11 dramas were “Ekhtefa” (Disappearance), starring Nelly Karim; “Ded Maghol”, starring Ghada Abdel Razek; “Laanet Karma” (Karma’s Curse), starring Haifa Wahby; “Rasael”, starring Mai Ezz Eldin; and “Mamnoa El Ektarab wel Tasweer” (Approach and Photography are Forbidden), starring Zeina. In addition, there were “Ladina Akwal Okhra,” (We Have Other Statements), starring Yousra; “Malika” for Dina El Sherbiny; “Azmy wa Ashgan”, starring Emy Samir Ghanem; “Layaly Eugene”, starring Amina Khalil, and “Bel Hagm El Aely”, starring Mervat Amin.

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