The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) and the Population Council announced the results of their survey of young people in the ashwa’yat (informal housing areas) of Greater Cairo during a meeting held on Tuesday.
The survey measured the indicators of health, unemployment, migration, and marriage formation.
The survey revealed that 44.5% of people aged between 15-29 years in Greater Cairo consider themselves healthy, rating their health as being “very good” or “excellent”.
The survey targeted asking questions in regards to how individuals consider their health, but no medical tests were performed to ascertain the participants’ actual health status.
Greater Cairo ranked lower compared to other areas, whereas other urban areas around the country rated 50.5% and rural areas 49.3%.
The results showed that marriage rates in informal areas of Greater Cairo among youth reached 24.9%, compared to 17.6% in formal areas in Greater Cairo. However, the sample was asked either if they are married or not, the survey did not measure the rate through marriage contracts.
The results showed that 4.6% of young people in the ashwa’yat did not attend schools in 2016 compared to formal areas in Cairo.
The rate of uneducated youth from the ashwa’yat of Greater Cairo who have jobs was averaged at 58.7% (90.3% among men, 23.4% among women). Employment among uneducated youth in formal areas stood at 60.1% in 2014. The survey used by CAPMAS followed the same method as 2014.
The unemployment rate in ashwa’yat was estimated at 9.9%, which is lower than the national average of 12.8%.
However, the survey considers any work in the informal economy as a form of employment, whereas such work is often not considered part of the official economy.
An article published by The Economist in August said: “An estimated 18m businesses are not monitored (or taxed) by the government. The informal economy is thought to be about two-thirds the size of the formal one.”
The results of the survey said that 20.3% of youths aged between 15-29 years in the ashwa’yat want to immigrate. This is compared to the 14.4% in formal areas from the 2014 survey.
Those surveyed said that their main motivation to leave the country stems from the country’s current financial situation, particularly because they cannot find jobs.
Another reason for immigration is the low income compared to other countries.
The results also showed that 48.7% of women aged between 15-29 in the ashwa’yat of Greater Cairo have experienced some form of sexual harassment, compared to 45.6% in formal areas in as surveyed in 2014. Questioning the age bracket of 15-17, CAPMAS said that 58.6% of women experience sexual harassment in informal areas, compared to 48.1% in formal areas.
However, that percentage ranks much lower than other reported numbers, as sexual harassment in Egypt remains a prevalent and widespread phenomenon. In 2013, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women published a report about sexual harassment in which it claims 99.3% of women in Egypt have had to grapple with some form of sexual harassment.
Abu Bakr El-Gendy, president of CAPMAS, said that the findings of the survey are very important to the government. These surveys provide a clearer demographic image of informal areas which helps the government tackle problems they may face in such areas.