23 May 2024 11:33 AM

Statement by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Inauguration of the Eighth OIC Ministerial Conference on Women

Friday، 09 July 2021 - 11:21 PM

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Ms. Helen Marie Lawrence, Burkina Faso's Minister of Women, National Solidarity and Family and Chairperson of the Seventh Ministerial Conference for Women,

Dr. Youssef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),

Dr. Maya Morsy, Chairperson of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), and Head of the Eighth Ministerial Conference for Women,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ministers and Heads of Delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads and Representatives of International and Regional Organizations,

Distinguished Attendees,

May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings Be upon You

It gives me great pleasure to take part with you today in the inauguration of this significant ministerial conference hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE), here in the new administrative capital, which reveals the image and the renaissance of modern Egypt. Furthermore, it heralds the birth of the new inclusive republic that has “Room for Everybody”, without any distinction or discrimination, under the principles of democracy and justice, as well as equality and citizenship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Egypt has the honor to chair the eighth session of the OIC Ministerial Conference for Women. This reiterates the degree of attention that Egypt devotes to scale up cooperation and consolidate solidarity among the OIC states to achieve a qualitative leap in the various fields of work pertaining to women's issues in our Islamic states and societies.

To ensure that OIC keeps pace with the contemporary developments all over the world, the theme for the eighth session of the conference is appropriately selected; “Preserving the Achievements of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond”. On developing its action plans and policies to handle this pandemic, Egypt, from the first moment, has been keen to pay special attention to curb its repercussions on women.Out of the belief that investing in people is the most important asset and in recognition of the fact that women represent one of the most vulnerable groups affected by such crises, Egypt has made extensive allocations for this goal. This is embodied in strengthening social protection services and enhancing the means to protect women from violence. Additionally, new financial and economic policies, supporting the labor market to enhance women’s economic empowerment and provide suitable job opportunities for women of irregular employment, have been introduced. Moreover, we are working arduously on the presidential initiative to support the Egyptian women’s health.

Distinguished Attendees,

Despite the remarkable progress made by our states in fields of gender equality and woman empowerment; we believe that there is still a lot of work to be done in those fields to achieve all aspired goals regarding women’s appropriate place in our societies. This is done in accordance with Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) sayings: “Act kindly towards women” and “Fear Allah in treating women”. There is no doubt that OIC instrument represents an important and fundamental arena in enhancing the role of women in the Islamic world.

Now, we have a historic opportunity to present the actual and accurate picture of women’s status in Islam. This is done through promoting our states’ cooperation in this field, and shedding light on the achievements of OIC member states regarding increasing the rates of women’s access to leadership positions, empowering them in all fields, protecting them against all shapes of violence and discrimination, as well as other key issues. Thus, we can clarify the reality for the whole world that our true religion has given women their rights more than 1400 years ago.

Furthermore, we conceive that such work acquires a new momentum by launching “Women’s Development Organization” (WDO) at its headquarters in Egypt. It is the first organization within the framework of OIC that is specialized in fields of enhancement and protection of women’s rights as well as women’s advancement in our societies. Moreover, WDO is an organization that seeks a comprehensive framework to advance the role of women in all member states in OIC.

In addition, I would like to point out that since the entry of WDO into force; Egypt spared no effort to support it technically and logistically to start its work. Furthermore, I issued directives that Egypt bears the reimbursement of the annual shares of the 22 fraternal least developed countries in WDO; either those who ratified the organization’s statute and have already joined it, or those who did not and are on the process of accessing. Moreover, Egypt, as the host state, had allocated a separate comprehensive distinct facility-and-service-equipped building for WDO. I personally have a special interest to establish a research intellectual center within the framework of this Organization that is similar to international ones to prepare in-depth studies on how to advance women’s status in our Islamic world.   

We also aspire that a special attention will be directed to find strong links between this nascent organization and international ones working in this field, especially within the United Nations system. This is done to enrich its activities and formulate joint cooperation programs that serve the goals of the organization and the interests of its members.

Today, I call upon all states that have not joined this organization yet to consider acceding to this instrument to achieve the aspired boom in various fields of work to serve the women’s issues.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the next two years, Egypt, during its presidency of the eighth session of the OIC Ministerial Conference for Women, is going to focus on two issues which are considered among the most urgent ones. The first is the economic empowerment of women as the main pillar to achieve and establish the values of gender equality. The second issue is combating the negative repercussions of terrorism and extremism on women who are usually among the most vulnerable categories suffering from their scourges.     

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, I can only reiterate that the main goal we all seek is to achieve progress and renaissance in our states, but that will not be done without the real empowerment of women in all fields of life. Empowering women is the key-word of building powerful and outstandingly great civilizations. It is our sincere duty towards our peoples to give women the full opportunity to participate in all these fields.

My sincere wishes for the success of this conference, which I aspire to recommend more resolutions that will help women to realize their aspired progress in our Islamic world.

Thank you

May Allah’s Peace and Mercy Be upon You

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