Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi directed, on Sunday, for the relevant ministries to work on reducing the phenomenon of ‘Gharemat’, or women imprisoned for failing to pay outstanding debts.
The President also called on parents to avoid borrowing money for preparing their daughters for marriage, asserting that many citizens failed to pay their debts because of the overspending on such events.
Al-Sisi and the First Lady, Intissar Al-Sisi, attended a ceremony to honour Egyptian women on the occasion of Mother’s Day.
Directing his speech to the Egyptian woman, Al-Sisi said, “The great women of Egypt, you are in the heart of the Egyptian state.”
The President asserted that the Egyptian woman has become a role model in various fields, and are the heroes in achieving successful policies. He added that Egypt is keen to celebrate women’s day in recognition of their efforts and dedication.
He also directed for the Central Bank of Egypt to facilitate banking procedures for women most in need.
The President also assigned the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the National Council for Women (NCW) to monitor the status of women in the field of decision-making. As part of this, he asserted Egypt’s keenness to have a balanced Personal Status Law.
Speaking about the “Decent Life” initiative, Al-Sisi confirmed that all the measures taken by the state aim to improve the living conditions of citizens.
NCW Head Maya Morsy said that “the political will of the President guaranteed for women all their social and political rights”.
She added that the NCW has provided significant support to Egyptian women, and reached out to 29 million over 2020 despite the difficulties presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Morsy highlighted her pride in seeing many female members in Egypt’s Senate and newly elected House of Representatives attend the ceremony on Sunday.
She said that Egypt now ranks 66th worldwide in terms of female representation in parliamentary bodies, up from 135 only recently.
Morsy also praised a recent move by judicial bodies to allow women to join the male-domined State Council and General Prosecution.
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Kabbaj, affirmed the state’s continued support for women’s issues and improving their conditions.
She said that the number of families benefiting from the state’s Takaful and Karama social safety programme rose to 14.3 million in 2020. This represented a notable hike from the previous 12 million, with women comprising over 75% of the beneficiaries.
El-Kabbaj added that the government is currently working in cooperation with civil society organisations on paying the debt of 50% of those women imprisoned for failing to pay debt. She also said that about 220,000 women have benefited from the soft loan programme.
Meanwhile, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said said that Egyptian women have a prominent role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also noted that women were strongly present in political work and at the forefront of the electoral scene in both elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate.