Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development meets the UN Under-Secretary-General for Women's Affairs
01 December 2021
Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, met with Dr. Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women.During the meeting, several important topics were discussed about women's empowerment and the Corona pandemic, the measures taken towards gender equality, the Decent Life Initiative, the Family Development Plan, and the Partnership for Gender Equality.El-Said touched on the most prominent steps taken in the field of protecting and empowering women, noting the adoption of some legislations related to the protection of Egyptian women, which resulted in the fight against issues such as female circumcision and violence against women.El-Said added that the Egyptian government is also working on gender equality through economic empowerment through financial inclusion, as well as preparing the first guide for a sustainable development plan and a gender-sensitive budget.El-Said addressed the conversation about joining the International Alliance for Equal Pay, explaining Egypt's accession in early 2020 to promote gender equality and ensure equal pay for equal work.El-Said explained that spending on social protection has been increased, referring to the Takaful and Dignity Program, explaining that the number of beneficiaries of the program increased from 60,000 families in 2015 to 3.7 million by May 2021, most of whom are females, adding that female unemployment decreased from 21.4% in 2018 to 17.7% in 2020 despite the pandemic.El-Said emphasized the government's focus on implementing development programs and projects that prioritize creating an environment conducive to women's work to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.El-Said also talked about the initiative of Decent Life, stressing Egypt's commitment to accelerating the path of progress by reducing poverty and unemployment rates, explaining that the initiative is taking place over 3 years, targeting 58% of the total population of Egypt with an amount exceeding $ 45 billion at a rate of EGP 700 billion.
On the family development project, El-Said emphasized the government's focus on achieving development related to citizens, making its residents at the heart of the planning process while achieving the goals set in Egypt's Vision 2030 and the sustainable development agenda.El-Said talked about the national plan of action for the development of the Egyptian family, explaining that the main pillars of the plan are the economic empowerment of women at the age of 18-45, the provision of family control tools and health services in all governorates, in addition to educational and cultural intervention to raise awareness about population growth.The plan also includes the digitization of health systems to reach the target groups of affected women, with the development of the legislative framework to regulate population growth policies, such as the age of marriage and child marriage.On the partnership for gender equality, El-Said referred to the participation of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development in chairing the joint program entitled “Strategy for Financing Sustainable Development Goals in Egypt,” noting that the program covers many sectors including education, health, social protection, water and sanitation, and transportation. During which the issue of "women's empowerment" comes as a comprehensive issue.El-Said announced the government's readiness to launch the national project for family development and implement the second phase of the main presidential initiative "A Decent Life", stressing the aspiration to strengthen cooperation with UN Women in adapting to the new reality in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.