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.
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).
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.
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.
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.