International Women’s Day 2016 “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cairo, 8 March 2016 – The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in Egypt in collaboration with the National Council For Women organized an event on 8 March, commemorating ‘International Women’s Day’ with the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.

Dr. Miwa Kato, UN Women Country Director, positively noted the tremendous progress achieved in women’s representation in the House of Representatives and in ensuring that women are empowered to perform their roles effectively, which reflects the government’s commitment, as reaffirmed in the 2014 Constitution. She also highlighted the importance of aligning laws and policies to the national goals of inclusive growth and social justice, which requires more attention to issues of inclusion and diversity.

 She pointed to the significance of the day in drawing strength from solidarity and collaborations between government, local leaders, and civil society organizations to empower women, thus contributing to stronger economies and healthier societies. She extended her sincere appreciation to the prominent and inspirational figures who contributed to the event and created enriching lively discussions.

 H.E. Ms. Ghada Wali, Minister of Social Solidarity; and H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women inaugurated the event and shared information and views on government plans to empower women highlighting the participation of women as one of the necessary conditions for achieving inclusive economic growth and social justice.

After viewing of a video titled ‘Voices of Egyptian Women’, that featured diverse stories of Egpytian women, a panel discussion comprising prominent and accomplished women presented their inspirational stories. The panel included Ms. Mecca Abdel Mawla, Member of the National Council for Women from Aswan who is a well-respected and inspirational figure in her community; Ms. Azza Fahmy, Founder and Chairperson of Azza Fahmy, an international brand of hand crafted jewelry; Ms. Caroline A. Maher, Member of the Egyptian Parliament and the first Arab-African female inducted into its Hall of Fame; and Ms. Mariam Naoum, an acclaimed screenwriter who has tackled women’s empowerment issues in her movie scripts.

The event concluded with an original musical performance by female singer Menna Hussein and Rapper Zap Tharwat who have used their art in ways to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment issues.

Earlier in the day, UN Women Egypt Country Office, the Global Compact Local Network in Egypt and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Egyptian Stock Exchange, organized the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event to focus attention on issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the work place and highlight the businesses case for women’s empowerment in terms of economic growth and sustainability, better governance and transparency, and other positive outcomes.

These events reinforce ongoing government efforts to promote inclusive economic growth and social justice. They also take place within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a specific goal to achieve gender equality, as well as the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): Egypt Vision 2030, which includes important provisions for women’s empowerment.