CAIRO - 28 April 2021: Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat met with Christine Arab, Representative of UN Women in Egypt, to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the UN Women, and to lay down future areas of cooperation to enhance and support Egypt’s efforts in empowering women across various fields.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat discussed with the Representative of UN Women in Egypt common areas of bilateral cooperation that come within the framework of national development priorities to empower women and support their participation in development efforts, advancing towards Egypt’s Vision 2030. Empowering women is one of the main pillars in the national development agenda and in the new partnerships that the UN Women is fostering.
The discussion covered means of strengthening bilateral cooperation within the framework of “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator'', launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, together with the World Economic Forum and the National Council for Women (NCW). This accelerator is the first public-private collaboration model in Africa, and in the Middle East and North Africa region. Aiming to increase women’s participation in the labour force, close gender gaps in remuneration and investment, advance more women into management and leadership positions, and hardwire gender parity in the future of work, the accelerator is built to take proactive action to advance women’s economic empowerment. Earlier this year in February, the accelerator’s action plan was launched, laying down tasks and objectives to implement within the coming three years.
The Minister praised the cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations in several areas of development, one of which is women empowerment. Development plans are currently held within the framework of the strategic partnership with the UN, focusing on four pillars: 1) Inclusive Economic Development, 2) Social Justice, 3) Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management and 4) Women's Empowerment.
Al-Mashat affirmed that the Ministry of International Cooperation collaborates with bilateral and multilateral development partners to support national development efforts to empower women, as there are around 34 projects in the Ministry’s cooperation portfolio worth $3.3 billion targeting women empowerment in various sectors; such as health, education, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The Minister emphasized that more partnerships with the UN Women are in line pushing towards the national development agenda and the global sustainability targets, focused on empowering women and enhancing their participation in development efforts. Egypt is the first country to launch a National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, to put forth the challenges met and solutions needed in order to achieve gender parity and economic inclusion; the framework is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For her part, Christine Arab, Representative of UN Women in Egypt, said that the UN works on empowering women and achieving gender parity through strengthened partnerships with the government, civil society, and all stakeholders, especially that achieving this would positively impact development, prosperity and lead to an inclusive and sustainable economic development.
The Ministry of International Cooperation is the National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), co-chairing the UNPDF Steering Committee with the UN Resident Coordination. Together, Minister Al-Mashat and Ms. Panova jointly oversee the implementation of the UNPDF, encompassing the work of the 29 UN Agencies, Funds and Programs operating in Egypt including regional offices.