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Swedish embassy marks International Women’s Day in Upper Egypt

Saturday 18-03-2017 - 12:45 PM
Swedish embassy marks
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017 and the celebration of the Year of Egyptian Women, a delegation from the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo and Sida, together with the UN, met with partners on a field visit in the governorates of Luxor and Qena. The visit covered some of the main projects under the umbrella of the UN joint programme for "Social, Economic, and Legal Empowerment of Egyptian Women" that is carried out in partnership with the Egyptian Government and other partner organisations. The aim was to monitor the progress made and to hear women’s voices who benefited from the programme.
Swedish embassy marks
Since 2013, Sweden has supported the UN joint programme for Women’s Empowerment in Egypt, with a total amount of SEK 50 million (approx. 5,6 million USD).  The programme is conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Swedish embassy marks
The trip to Luxor included a visit to the local branch of the National Council for Women (NCW), where women beneficiaries shared their personal stories about how obtaining a national ID has given them opportunities to practice their citizenship rights and have access to services. Women highlighted how getting an ID-card was benefitting their lives, for example enabling them to apply for university, participate in voting, getting access to subsidies, pensions, owning land, selling/buying assets and taking out loans. So far in Egypt more than 40 thousand ID cards have been issued through the support from Sweden.
Swedish embassy marks

In Luxor the delegation also paid a visit to Luxor Family Court, where they met with the representatives of the Court, as well as with H.E. the Governor of Luxor and with H.E. the Deputy Minister for Specialized Courts.  The delegation also visited the legal aid office, where women and men receive free legal assistance. A first phase of an automation project was launched in October 2016 in the Luxor Family Court to expedite the implementation of court ruling with regards to the payment of alimony for women.  

The delegation then traveled to Qena where they were met by H.E. the Governor of Qena and representatives from the National Population Council on a visit to a village where local communities refuse the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and are advocating for its end. The delegation watched a theatre performance by YPEER, a network of NGOs, which was followed by an interactive discussion. Meetings were also held with a group of medical students, citizens, and local civil society representatives about their work against FGM.

The visit was undertaken by H.E. Ambassador Charlotta Sparre, together with Sida representatives, Mr. Anders Frankenberg, Head of MENA-unit, and Counsellor/Regional Programme Manager, Ms. Izabella Eriksson, together with representatives of UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women.

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