Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has met with Christine Arab, UN Women Representative in Egypt, to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the ministry and UN Women.
The discussions also sought to lay down future areas of cooperation to enhance and support Egypt’s efforts in empowering women across various fields.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed areas of bilateral cooperation that come as part of national development priorities to empower women and support their participation in development efforts. This falls within the efforts aimed at advancing towards Egypt’s Vision 2030.
Empowering women is one of the main pillars in Egypt’s national development agenda, and in the new partnerships that the UN Women is fostering.
The discussions covered means of strengthening bilateral cooperation within the framework of the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”. The initiative was launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, together with the World Economic Forum and the National Council for Women (NCW).
This accelerator is the first public-private collaboration model in Africa, and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It aims to increase women’s participation in the labour force, close gender gaps in remuneration and investment, and advance more women into management and leadership positions.
It also seeks to hardwire gender parity in the future of work, the accelerator is built to take proactive action to advance women’s economic empowerment. In February this year, the accelerator’s action plan was launched, laying down tasks and objectives to implement within the coming three years.
Minister Al-Mashat praised the cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations in several areas of development, one of which is women’s empowerment.
Development plans are currently held within the framework of the strategic partnership with the UN, focusing on four pillars: Inclusive Economic Development; Social Justice; Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management; and, Women’s Empowerment.
It was highlighted that the Ministry of International Cooperation collaborates with bilateral and multilateral development partners to support national development efforts to empower women.
There are about 34 projects in the ministry’s cooperation portfolio worth $3.3bn, targeting women empowerment in various sectors. These include health, education, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The minister emphasised that more partnerships with UN Women are in the pipeline that will work on pushing the national development agenda and global sustainability targets forward. These partnerships will be focused on empowering women and enhancing their participation in development efforts.
Egypt is the first country to launch a National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, to ensure that the challenges and solutions needed to achieve gender parity and economic inclusion are put forward. This comes in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For her part, Arab said that the UN works on empowering women and achieving gender parity through strengthened partnerships with the government, civil society, and all stakeholders.
These efforts come particularly as achieving this would positively impact development, prosperity, and lead to inclusive and sustainable economic development.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation is the National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), and co-chairs the UN Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF) Steering Committee with the UN Resident Coordination.
Together, Minister Al-Mashat and the UN’s Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova jointly oversee the implementation of the UNPDF, encompassing the work of the 29 UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes operating in Egypt, including regional offices.