The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence Campaign
Wednesday، 01 December 2021 - 12:00 AM
The National Council for Women (NCW), in partnership with UN Women Egypt Country Office, the European Union and the Dutch Embassy in Cairo, organized on Monday, November 29, 2021 a sports day to revive the 16 Days of Activism campaign to eliminate violence against women in Egypt under this year's theme "Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!"
The event was held at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). The museum has been lit up in orange, which is the colour that symbolizes a world free of violence against women and girls, and is chosen worldwide as the colour of the campaign.
The event was attended by International Development Minister Dr.Rania el Mashat, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women Sima Sami Bahous, Ambassador Christian Berger, the head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Dr. Maged Osman, CEO of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), Ambassador Christian Berger, the head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Dutch ambassador to Egypt Moritz Chatfield, and UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova.
UN Women in partnership with the Egyptian government seek to empower women, provide services to women who have experienced violence and reduce gender inequalities. These partnerships include working with the Women's Complaints Office of the National Council for Women, and the Women's Hosting and Orientation Centers of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, with support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the European Union.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, delivered a speech during the event, in which she confirmed that the Egyptian government had made a leap forward by adopting policies and reforms related to gender equality and achieving equal opportunities, noting that the National Council for Women had issued the National Strategy for Women Empowerment 2030 with the aim of bringing about a radical change in this file.
The Minister of International Cooperation said that the political leadership in Egypt focuses on empowering women politically, economically and socially, since comprehensive development cannot be achieved without the positive participation of women. Therefore, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared 2017 “the year of women” and launched the 2030 National Women's Empowerment Strategy, which aims to empower women by 2030 so as to become a key partner as well as active contributors to the achievement of sustainable development. The National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women is consisted of four main pillars; political empowerment, economic empowerment, social empowerment, and protection from all forms of violence; in addition to two main themes: awareness-raising and legislations.
In this regard, Al-Mashat indicated that women represent about 24% of the members of the Government, adding that last year, constitutional amendments were made that stipulated that a quarter of the parliament’s seats should be allocated to women while there are currently 89 female members, representing 15% of the seats in the House of Representatives, recording the highest percentage of women ever in the Egyptian parliament.
Al-Mashat stressed that currently it requires enhancing global efforts aimed at eliminating gender disparities, and increasing women's contribution to climate action plans, as they are active contributors to the adoption of smart solutions and the implementation of plans to adapt to climate changes, and also they are one of the groups most affected by the negative effects of climate changes.
Al-Mashat said: "In light of the fact that a large percentage of women worldwide do not enjoy their economic and social rights, they are more affected by climate changes and their negative repercussions," adding: "It is of paramount importance that women's contribution to the development of adaptation policies and adaptation to climate changes be enhanced; in addition to adopting solutions to confront these variables and bridge the large gap between them and men in setting the necessary policies and procedures for climate action.”
Al-Mashat, also, said that the vision of the Ministry of International Cooperation aims to strengthen Egypt’s partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners, governments, international economic policy makers, the private sector and civil society to achieve the National Development Agenda 2030, through the principles of economic diplomacy, which is a platform for achieving joint coordination cooperation, matching development funding with sustainable development goals, and listing international partnerships.
In her recorded speech, Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, said that the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence Campaign is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness and creating a supportive public opinion to eliminate all forms of violence against women worldwide, noting that this is one of the priorities of the goals of the National Council for Women, which is witnessing this year a lot of efforts and activities in all fields to raise awareness of this issue.
Dr. Maya Morsi called on all Egyptian girls and women to take advantage of the golden age that Egyptian women are experiencing now to demand their rights, pointing to the full support of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for women and their rights.
Maya Morsi asserted that it is never possible to fully promote and protect human rights without protecting women's rights and empowering them, expressing her wishes that “the coming year will come as we celebrate the final elimination of all forms of violence against women, because every Egyptian woman and girl deserves to live a safe life free from violence.”
For her part, Sima Sami Bahous, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, thanked Egypt for its achievements in the field of women’s empowerment, noting that the file of women in Egypt is very honorable, thanks to the political leadership that supports it, making progress in this regard and thanked President Al-Sisi, for his continuous support for women and his efforts to empower them at all levels.
She also pointed out that Egypt’s tireless efforts in this file were also crowned by winning the UN-Women Executive Board for 2022-2025 and membership of the Commission on the Status of Women for 2022-2026.
In his speech, Dr. Maged Osman, a member of the National Council for Woman and CEO of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) conveyed the greetings of Dr. Maya Morsi, the President of Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW), expressing his thanks and appreciation to everyone for their participation in this important event.
On the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova said: “Violence against women and girls has devastating, immediate and long-term consequences. It can also threaten the achievements of the entire development effort, especially after the Corona virus crisis.”
In his speech, Dutch ambassador to Egypt Moritz Chatfield said: “The issue of violence against women is very complex and all countries are still trying to eliminate it. However, we still have opportunities to solve it.
He added, "We are convinced that eliminating violence against women and girls opens the door for more Egyptian women and girls to succeed and develop themselves, and therefore, will contribute significantly to Egyptian society as a whole."