Joint Press Release: The National Council for Women, UN Women Egypt and the Embassy of Canada organize a field visit in Beheira and Alexandria to meet the beneficiaries of "Rabeha" Joint Programme


Representatives during the field visit in Beheira governorate on 22 March 2022.
Representatives during the field visit in Beheira on 22 March 2022. Photo: UN Women


For Immediate Release

Cairo, 27 March 2022- The National Council for Women, UN Women Egypt, and the Embassy of Canada organized a field visit last week to Beheira and Alexandria to meet the beneficiaries of “Rabeha" Joint Programme. H.E. Ambassador Louis Dumas, the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt and Ms. Christine Arab, UN Women Country Representative, joined the visit in both governorates, in the presence of H.E. General Hisham Amna, Governor of Beheira, and H.E. General Mohamed Taher El Sherif, Governor of Alexandria and their teams. The visit was also attended by Dr. Zakia Rashad; representatives of the National Council for Women in Behaira.

The visit focused on dialogue with the women entrepreneurs and job seekers who are supported by “Women’s Economic Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Egypt - “Rabeha” Joint Programme, implemented by UN Women Egypt and UNIDO Egypt in partnership with the National Council for Women (NCW), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MESMEDA), the seven governorates in the programme, and which is generously supported by the Government of Canada.

In his remarks, H.E. General Hisham Amna, Governor of Beheira, stressed on the strength of the bilateral relations, which have witnessed remarkable development in all fields over the past years, confirming Egypt’s keenness to strengthen joint relations with Canada. The Governor of Beheira also highlighted the important role that women play in the comprehensive development of Egypt and he stressed on the strong belief in women’s leading role in every position they hold , pointing out that 45% of the employees are women ; in addition to; to holding leadership positions in the governorate, like for example Dr. Nehal Balbaa, the Deputy Governor.

From his side, the Governor of Alexandria, H.E. General Mohamed Al-Sharif, praised the efforts implemented by the joint programme and the choice of its name "Rabeha" (female winner), pointing out that since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assumed office, the Egyptian women have been given great support and attention. He also stated that Alexandria is one of the most supportive cities for women, where many women have been able to reach leadership positions, and many of the heads of districts and departments in Alexandria are women. The Governor of Alexandria added that he is in constant contact on weekly basis with women with disabilities in Alexandria, and that the governorate is ready to provide all kinds of support to women entrepreneurs in Alexandria, especially women with disabilities.

“The success of the Rabeha programme is only possible through strong partnerships with the government and non-government partners. Canada is pleased to partner and support UN Women in its endeavor to promote inclusive economic growth by supporting women’s economic empowerment.” Stated H.E. Ambassador Louis Dumas, the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt.

 “The support of the Governorates and the engagement of local private sector are so important to the programme’s ability to help women, including young women and women living with disabilities, to access decent work and to grow their own businesses.” said Ms. Christine Arab, UN Women Country Representative. “Across the seven governorates, the programme’s beneficiaries have seen increased employment rates ranging from 10 to 26% in the last year.”

During the visit, Ms. Zakia Rashad, NCW Rapporteur in Beheira, expressed her happiness with the “Rabeha” programme, which contributes to supporting women and girls and encouraging them to explore their capabilities and build their capacities to join the labor market, in addition to overcoming their fear of expanding their work beyond the rural community. She also commended the enthusiasm of girls and women to join such programmes that support them and contribute to developing their skills in marketing, especially e-marketing. Moreover, she praised the distinguished women-owned projects implemented within the framework of “Rabeha” programme, such as the handcraft project using leather and the mushroom project.

In Beheira, a meeting was held at Misr Public Library in Damanhour through which the representatives with Dr. Nehal Balbaa, Deputy Governor, met with women beneficiaries who received employability and entrepreneurship trainings to learn about their successes, challenges, and aspirations. These trainings have been delivered within the framework of the joint programme in collaboration with the American University in Cairo.

In Alexandria, the representatives visited the site of a programme beneficiary, a women-led startup that specializes in digital printing. Additionally, a number of women beneficiaries shared their success stories and explained how the joint programme enhanced their capacity and supported them in either managing their start-ups or accessing employability services during a roundtable discussion held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

The joint programme “Rabeha” offers a tailored package of demand-driven services to different actors in the Egyptian labor market by providing pathways for capacity development and growth to women job seekers, women entrepreneurs, private sectors companies, and investors in collaboration with government institutions and labor market actors. The overall goal of the joint programme is to enhance the economic livelihood of 6,300 Egyptian women by 2024 in 7 targeted governorates: Cairo, Giza, Beheira, Alexandria, Fayoum, Beni Sueif and Minya. 

For more information, please contact:

  • Azza Abdelhai; General Manager of Media Department, the National Council for Women at [ Click to reveal ]
  • Maha Rateb; Communication & Advocacy Analyst, UN Women Egypt at [ Click to reveal ]


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