UN Women in Egypt

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are not only human rights, but also drivers of economic prosperity and development progress. Unless women and girls are able to fully realize their potentials in all spheres of life, sustainable development will not be achieved.

Women’s empowerment is a key objective in Egypt’s vision and roadmap for 2030. The “Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): Egypt 2030” aims to maximize the use of Egypt’s potential and competitive advantage, achieve social justice, and afford a decent life to all its citizens. In early 2017, the year the President of Egypt declared the Year of Women, the Government launched the 2030 National Women’s Empowerment Strategy. This roadmap complements the SDS by focusing on (a) women’s political leadership and empowerment, (b) women’s economic empowerment, (c) women’s social development, and (d) women’s protection.

In line with Egypt’s international commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the existing strategic frameworks, UN Women supports Egypt to empower women and reduce the inequality between men and women. The country office’s engagement is built on a strong partnership with the government—particularly the National Council for Women and the Ministry for Social Solidarity—and a collaborative relationship with the wider public, including civil society organizations, thus placing the women’s empowerment agenda firmly at the centre of national priority to attain inclusive growth and social justice. The three programmatic pillars are (1) promoting leadership and political participation, (2) promoting women’s economic empowerment, and (3) ending violence against women, with access to education for women and girls, and engaging men and youth for women’s empowerment as cross-cutting themes.

With the aim to mainstream gender issues across development cooperation, UN Women leads the UN Country Team in Egypt on gender equality and women’s empowerment by chairing the UN Gender Theme Group, composed by 16 UN agencies, funds and programmes. UN Women is also the Co-Chair (together with the United Kingdom) of the Donor Subgroup on ‘Gender and Development’ (GAD). Both groups meet regularly to share information, lessons learned and best practices on issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as to strengthen coordination mechanisms between its members and their partners on the ground. Joint initiatives to support gender equality and women’s empowerment are expanding, most notably on combatting violence against women and girls, female genital mutilation and women’s socio-economic empowerment.