Egyptian women hold 45% of the total government jobs in the country, way above the global average of 32%, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.
It came during El-Said’s speech at the opening of the first annual workshop of the Women’s Studies Unit at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, held under the title “Women and Public Participation: Theoretical and Practical Approaches.”
El-Said reviewed Egypt’s success in the field of women’s empowerment in the past few years. She noted that women’s participation in boards of directors in general has improved from 9.7% in 2017 to 10.2% in 2018. Moreover, the percentage of women’s representation in banks’ boards of directors reached 12% in 2019, up from about 10% in 2018.
The Minister added that the percentage of female executive leaders in Egypt reached 7.1%, which is higher than the average in the Middle East and North Africa region, estimated at 5.4%. In addition, about 18% of editor-in-chief positions in state-run newspapers are held by women.
In the framework of Egypt’s financial inclusion process, the percentage of women who have bank accounts reached 27%. Egyptian women also received 51% of the total loans directed to micro-businesses, while the percentage of women who defaulted on loan payments did not exceed 1%.
El-Said pointed to the launch of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030, which aims to address the factors affecting women’s economic empowerment. She explained that this strategy identified several key quantitative indicators to measure the progress of women’s economic empowerment.
The state is working on creating a legislative, institutional, and cultural environment appropriate for women’s economic empowerment, as it is keen to integrate the concepts of gender equality and women’s empowerment into educational curricula, she added.
The rehabilitation of government cadres, both male and female, through training programmes is one of the strategic objectives of the Egyptian state. On top of these programmes comes the rehabilitation of women executive leaders, which is implemented by the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development in cooperation with the National Council for Women, the Administrative Control Authority, and UN Women. A total 300 women graduated from the programme.
The first batch of the programme, only in Cairo, graduated in July 2019, while the second batch graduated in February 2020 in five governorates, which enhances the state’s efforts of sustainable development nationwide.
El-Said pointed out that Egypt aims to strengthen its cooperation with various countries, especially in Africa, in the field of developing and building women’s capacities. She noted that a version of the aforementioned programme was launched for African women last January, including 100 women from 45 African countries.
Moreover, the Minister highlighted the state’s interest supporting women in the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, which is one of the main sectors that provide decent and productive work opportunities for women nationwide.
El-Said also drew attention to the achievements of the Rowad 2030 project which helped increase the enrolment of women in Master’s in Entrepreneurship, implemented in cooperation with the Universities of Cambridge and Cairo, to reach 37% of the total participants.
Meanwhile, the percentage of female trainers in the Start Your Future campaign in schools and universities reached 40% in different governorates.