Women – Daily News Egypt https://www.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Thu, 23 May 2019 01:41:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Women availed from Takaful, Karama programme cap 88% of total beneficiaries https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/21/women-availed-from-takaful-karama-programme-cap-88-of-total-beneficiaries/ Tue, 21 May 2019 10:09:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698639 This is in addition to supporting women to benefit from the Takaful and Karama programme, where the percentage of women benefiting from it exceeded 88% of the total beneficiaries of the programme

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Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Waly, said that her ministry is keen on supporting and empowering Egyptian women at all levels, starting by economic empowerment through to the provision of thousands of jobs and projects–mainly Mastoura projects which facilitated the establishment of more than 17,000 projects.

This is in addition to supporting women to benefit from the Takaful and Karama programme, where the percentage of women benefiting from it exceeded 88% of the total beneficiaries of the programme. Furthermore, the ministry has established centres to host battered women who are exposed to any kind of violence.

She mentioned that the hosting centres are among the most important means of the ministry of social solidarity to protect women who are victims of violence, through the provision of housing, care and rehabilitation shelters.

The minister highlighted that in Egypt there are eight housing centres located in Cairo; Giza; Qaliubiya; Daqahleya; Alexandria; Minya; Beni Suef, and Fayoum.

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“Cover Up Your Daughter, So Men Can Fast Appropriately,” campaign evokes anger https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/21/cover-up-your-daughter-so-men-can-fast-appropriately-campaign-evokes-anger/ Tue, 21 May 2019 10:08:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698633 Men used the hashtag "cover up your daughter, so men can fast appropriately," believing that indecent clothes worn by women during Ramadan distract men from their fasting. On the other hand, the people who refused this campaign explained that that this it is insulting to women.

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Men: “Please, dress modestly in public so that we can fast appropriately, as we are in the holy month of Ramadan. Also dear parents, please ensure that your daughters are modestly dressed in public.

Women: “We cannot understand the relationship between your fasting and our clothes?!”

Men: “Indecent clothes worn by you during Ramadan distract us from our fasting.”

This dialogue is not an imaginary one, but a realistic combative conversation that took place and recently went viral on social media platforms between Egyptian females and males under the hashtag of “cover up your daughter, so men can fast appropriately”, calling on parents to ensure that their daughters dress modestly in public so that males can fast.

Men used the hashtag “cover up your daughter, so men can fast appropriately,” believing that indecent clothes worn by women during Ramadan distract men from their fasting. On the other hand, the people who refused this campaign explained that that this it is insulting to women.

Therefore Daily News Egypt investigated further into this social, male-dominatedconflict that is occurring on social media, to receive extra information regarding the opinion of the Egyptian street on this campaign, and to reveal the reasons behind the campaign.

Naturally, women and most of the society became more aware about women’s rights and revealed to DNE that this campaign is really insulting to women.

For her part, 26-year-old Aliaa Ahmed, told DNE that she is completely against this campaign, explaining that it gives an excuse for sexual harassment for it leads to questions such as “what makes her dress this way?” or “why did she go to this place?” All these questions are excuses for sexual harassment.

Agreeing with Ahmed, Mona Abdel Satar, 36, stated that in addition of giving an excuse to sexual harassment, it is considered an insult to women, giving men the right to control how women can dress.

“The difference between the human creatures and animals, is that human creatures can control their sexual urges while animals cannot, so if men even saw an undressed woman they should respect her and must not to look at her as Islam ordered them,” she asserted.

On the other hand, a 40-year-old woman called Hanya Ali told DNE that she agrees with the campaign explaining that according to religion, intercourse could be performed through eyesight therefore by dressing inappropriately women encourage men to commit a sin.

“I think it’s not wrong to advise each other in order to gain entrance into heaven,” Ali said.

“In Islam, no one must see a female’s beauty except her family,” she added.

At the same time, Ann Gamal, 26, stated that maybe the founder of the campaign’s intention was to change or encourage people to do their best during the holy month of Ramadan which is known for purification of the soul and body, however the way they abused it and the hashtags that they used are really in bad taste and reflect negative intentions toward people.

She called on the founders to apply moderation and to apologise for this distasteful campaign.

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Women’s participation in Ramadan series https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/21/womens-participation-in-ramadan-series/ Tue, 21 May 2019 10:07:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698632 Daily News Egypt dug deeper to learn more about women's participation in most series.

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Ramadan season is known for the production of a large number of series, but unfortunately this season witnessed the least number of series since 2010– only 25 series.

Having 25 series only in this season compared to 30 series in last Ramadan seems negative, but the question is has this decrease impacted women’s participation in Ramadan series, both in front, and behind the camera?

Daily News Egypt dug deeper to learn more about women’s participation in most series.

Only Eight eight dramas only include female lead characters

There are 25 series this year, and from them there are only eight dramas that which included female lead characters.

The eight dramas are “Zai El Shams” (like the sun), starring Dina Al-Sherbini; “Hadotet Mora” ( Story of Mora), starring Ghada Abdel Razek; “Hekayty” (My story), starring Yasmin Sabry; “Badal Al Hadota Talata” (Instead of one story there are three), starring Dounia Samir Ghanem; “Super Mario,” starring Emy Samir Ghanem; ” Priness Bissa” , starring Mai EZZ ElDein, and finally the last one is ” Mamlaket ElGhagar,” (Kingdom of gypsies), in which there is an equal starring lead roles between Fifi Abdo and Horaya Farghaly.

Compared to last year, where there were 30 series, with 11 dramas which included female lead characters or equal leads between males and females. For women lead characters were only seven.

The 11 dramas were “Ekhtefa” (Disappearance), starring Nelly Karim; “Ded Maghol”, starring Ghada Abdel Razek; “Laanet Karma” (Karma’s Curse), starring Haifa Wahby; “Rasael”, starring Mai Ezz Eldin; and “Mamnoa El Ektarab wel Tasweer” (Approach and Photography are Forbidden), starring Zeina. In addition there were “Ladina Akwal Okhra,” (We Have Other Statements), starring Yousra; “Malika” for Dina El Sherbiny; “Azmy wa Ashgan”, starring Emy Samir Ghanem; “Layaly Eugene”, starring Amina Khalil, and “Bel Hagm El Aely”, starring Mervat Amin.

Maryam Naoum is still the most prominent name in terms of writing dramas

Maryam Naoum is still the most prominent name in terms of scriptwriting when discussing women in the field of drama series.

Despite the fact that Naoum is always proving that women can be perfect screenwriters, however, unfortunately, this season she is considered the only writer.

Naoum is participating in this Ramadan season as the director of the writing team in the series of “Zai El Shams,” (Like the Sun).

This is considered a very limited contribution for women; it is less than 1%.

That situation is not too different from the situation last year, where there was also– in addition to Naoum–Enjy El Kasem and Sama Abdel Kahlek who co-write the “Layaly Eugene” series.

Thus the situation became increasingly disappointing.

Like last year only one female director

Unfortunately, last year there was only one female director among the 30 series, who was Hala Khalil in “Bel Hagm El Aely.”

This year also there is only one female director also who is Sheren Adel who directs two series which are, “Sha2et Fesal,” (Fisal’s Flat), and “Hogan.”

Meanwhile the absence of Kamla Abou Zakry this year from this season remains quite disheartening.

Noteworthy, it was planned that the series of “Zai El Shams,”(Like The Sun) was to witness a beautiful cooperation between directors Abu Zakry and Naoum, who worked together before in three successful series during past years, namely ” Zaat,” ” Segn El Nasa,” (Women`s prison,) and “Wahet El Ghorob,”( Sunset Oasis).

But unfortunately, this cooperation failed this season due to a disagreement between Abu Zakry and the producer which lead to the withdrawal of Abu Zakry from completing the directing of the series and she was replaced by director Sameh Abdel Aziz.

Unfortunately, no women in the shooting field 

This year witnessed the absence of the name of Nancy Abdel Fattah who is considered as the only female name in the field of shooting, whether in cinema or television.

Most of dramas this year have been based on folk songs

Most of the dramas this year have been based on folk singers rather than on tunes with singers’ voices.

Furthermore, we hear the voice of Angham singing the song of the introduction of “Hekayet Mora,” and the voice of Carmen Soliman in the introduction of “Hekayty,” in addition to the voice Donya Samir Ghanem in the introduction of ” Badal Al Hadota Talata.”

Meanwhile, most of the dramas last year have been based on musical tunes rather than on tunes with singers’ voices.

Furthermore, we heard the voice of Angham singing the introductory song of the “Mamnoa El Ektarab wel Tasweer”(Approaching and Filming are Forbidden), and the voice of Nesma Mahgoubin in the introduction of “Layaly Eugene,”in addition to the voice of Yasmin Ali on the introduction of “Amr Wakeaa” (A Matter of Fact), as well as Elissa’s voice in “Rasael.”

Therefore, last year there were also three female singers.

Monopoly dominates production scene in Ramadan

This season witnessed the monopoly of the Synergy company for most series, where it produces 15 series out of the 25 ones being broadcasted, representing 60% from the total number of series this year.

Hence this led to a decreased competition in general and no female producers this year.

Compared to last year, the number of producers last season reached 22, but unfortunately there were only two female producers: Maha Selim for “El Rehla” (The Trip) and Mona Kotb for “Bel Hagm El Aely.”

Finally, this season appears rather unsatisfactory in terms of female representation especially behind the camera. But we hope to see a better representation next year compared to this one.

Also in hope to see a better portrayal of women this season than any year before, and in that context, the President of National Council of Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, announced days before the start of Ramadan that the NCW formulated a committee headed by Suzan Al-Kalini, head of the media committee at the NCW, to monitor the image of women in the series, commercials, and programmes to be screened on television during the holy month of Ramadan.

Morsi noted that this committee will prepare a content analysis to produce a report on the media’s treatment of the image and issues of women in reference to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

A final report will be prepared by the end of Ramadan, including the monitored results and recommendations. Subsequently, the analysis will be submitted to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation and publicised in various media outlets.

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Female investors in EGX increase by 30% https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/female-investors-in-egx-increase-by-30/ Sat, 11 May 2019 10:30:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697704 Women's unemployment rate decreased from 24% in 2014 to 19.6% in Q1 of 2019, says Morsi

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The percentage of female investors in the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) has increased by 30%, according to Maya Morsi, president of the National Council of Women (NCW). Morsi announced during a seminar whose title literally translates as “The Egyptian Woman: the Origin of the Tale” during the 64th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Morsi also added that women held 15% of the parliamentary seats in 2018, compared to only 2% in 2013, which is considered the highest number ever in the history of the Egyptian Parliament.

She mentioned the increase in the number of female ministers gradually from 6% in 2015, to 20% in 2017, and then 25% in 2018, adding that it is also the highest number ever in Egyptian history to witness this great percentage of female ministers in the cabinet.

Furthermore Morsi asserted that there are some women who became pioneers in a number of fields which are being occupied by women for the first time, and are taking part in the decision-making process.

Moreover, she also referred that it is the first time for a woman to occupy the post of the president’s advisor for national security affairs.

Additionally Morsi disclosed that, “The unemployment rate among women decreased from 24% in 2014 to 21.4% in 2018, then to 19.6% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019.”

Girls currently make up 54% of university students, while 46.5% of those holding a master’s degree and a PhD are women, she added that.

“Egypt has been the first Arab country to start implementing gender equality, while the North African country has been the second to test the criteria of the UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal for Public and Private Organizations, acknowledging these bodies’ special role and efforts to achieve gender equality,” she concluded.

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NCW monitors image of women in Ramadan dramas, commercials https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/ncw-monitors-image-of-women-in-ramadan-dramas-commercials/ Sat, 11 May 2019 09:30:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697701 The President of the National Council of Women (NCW), Maya Morsi announced that the council established a committee headed by Suzan Al-Kalini, head of the media committee at the NCW, to monitor the image of women in series, commercials, and programmes to be screened on television during the holy month of Ramadan. Morsi noted that …

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The President of the National Council of Women (NCW), Maya Morsi announced that the council established a committee headed by Suzan Al-Kalini, head of the media committee at the NCW, to monitor the image of women in series, commercials, and programmes to be screened on television during the holy month of Ramadan.

Morsi noted that this committee will prepare a content analysis to produce a report on the media’s treatment of the image and issues of women in reference to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

A final report will be prepared by the end of Ramadan, including the monitoring results and recommendations. Subsequently, the analysis will be submitted to the Supreme Council for Media Regulations and publicised in various media outlets.

Furthermore, Morsi stressed the council’s role in taking a strong and swift stance toward any violations which damages the image of women, adding that this monitoring will also include daily printed media.

For her part, Al-Kalani stated that the number of series tol be analysed this year is 28 drama series, in addition to advertisements.

She explained that a big team was chosen to monitor the image of women in Ramadan 2019 series, consisting of members of the committee, in addition to nearly 200 students from the Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University, from the radio and television, public relations, and library departments.

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Innovators think out of box through L’Oréal BrandStorm 2019 competition https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/innovators-think-out-of-box-through-loreal-brandstorm-2019-competition/ Sat, 11 May 2019 08:30:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697694 L’Oréal Egypt announces 2019 BrandStorm winning team

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Gender stereotypes in the science, technology, and innovation fields are nothing new and remain particularly hard to shift. Yet efforts to address these stereotypes are more pertinent than ever, and females became more aware of that stereotypical image and they are trying harder to always prove that they are capable of innovation.

Among the females who proved that women in general and Egyptian females in particular, could innovate were the winning teams for the L’Oréal BrandStorm 2018 and 2019 competitions.

Each winning team consists of three members, with two girls and one boy. By chance, it was noted that the number of girls in the winning teams is double that of the number of boys, which proved that girls are not just equal to men in innovation but maybe even better.

The BrandStorm competition is considered as one of the world’s major competitions for students, as BrandStorm has won several awards in the Human Resources (HR) sector. The competition has attracted more than 154,000 participants from 60 countries in 26 years. Each year BrandStorm helps to recruit 150 to 200 profiles to the group’s entry-level programmes.

This year, L’Oréal Egypt organised a roundtable to announce the BrandStorm 2019 winning team for the fourth year in a row. The competition gathered a group of distinguished students from 24 top universities in Egypt. Participants competed at the country level to have the opportunity to represent Egypt at the international competition that will take place in Paris in May 2019.

The roundtable was attended by a group of diverse media representatives as well as L’Oréal Egypt’s top management headed by Hossam Soliman L’Oréal Egypt’s HR Director and L’Oréal Egypt’s Communication Manager, Nahla Mokhtar, in addition to the presence of the BrandStorm 2018 and 2019 winning teams where they presented their innovative projects and experience on both the country and international levels.

L’Oréal Egypt discloses more details about BrandStorm competition

The BrandStorm competition aims to create young Egyptian cadres and qualify them for the labour market through giving university students the opportunity to unleash their creativity, and transform their innovative ideas into reality. L’Oréal Egypt is committed to providing the participants with the necessary support and guidance to develop their skills and proposed projects.

In this context, Soliman said, “I am proud of the quality of projects presented by the participants. Selecting one winning team doesn’t negate the fact that we have actually witnessed a number of innovative, dedicated, and committed students. The 2018 and 2019 teams represented live examples of the competences of the young promising Egyptian talents, and their capability of competing internationally. I am proud of their performance, which formulates a driving force for us as a company to continue to provide such sustainable empowerment to empower these enlightened students.”

Hossam explained to that every year the competition demands from the students a project in different fields, noting that in 2018 the challenge was to have a unique creative project for hair products while this year the challenge is for skin products.

Winning team of BrandStorm 2018

The Egyptian winning team in 2018, took the second palace globally for social responsibility while ranked 11th in the innovative competition on a global scale, the team included two girls and a boy, namely Ahmed Khaled, Alaa Fakher,and Yasmin Nassar, who all graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the German University in Cairo.

They told Daily News Egypt that they learned of the competition through receiving an official email from L’Oréal in their university emails, and through L’Oréal’s Facebook page.

For her part, Nassar stated that when they heard about the competition they got excited and began to take the necessary steps to apply.

“We applied and registered and then we began to think about the idea. We needed to innovate a creative idea that could satisfy the distinguished L’Oréal name and company,” Nassar and Fakher said with a spark in their eyes.

“Consequently, we began to thoroughly research for an idea that would fit the competition requirements,” they recounted.

Regarding their idea, they stated that after conducting a lot of research, they discovered that the water used in Egypt is harmful to hair, so they innovated a device which provides water to the customer with the needed vitamins in certain concentrations, and with certain techniques so at the end the water which will be delivered to the customer will be in a perfect state, compensating any vitamin deficiency.

Meanwhile, they mentioned that the substances that they removed from the original water will be recycled and put into other beauty products.

Concerning the process of getting the idea, we presented it domestically to the L’Oréal jury committee, and then we were chosen as one of the 13 best teams among all the faculties of Egypt.

“Consequently, following this first filtration, L’Oréal gave us workshops, which taught us how to transform our idea in reality and to enter the market,” they disclosed.

“L’Oréal taught us to change our simple idea into a project on the ground, in addition to plenty of marketing skills,” the two female winners stated.

Later on, “We were chosen as the best team among all the applicants from Egypt, and subsequently we travelled to Paris to represent Egypt in the competition,” they said proudly.

At that period, “We were competing with students from over 60 countries around the world, so we were afraid of their various mentalities, and felt that they might be more creative than us,” Nassar and Fakher narrated sensitively.

“However, when we travelled, the L’Oréal HR team calmed us down as they were with us every step of the way, also we were rehearsing around them, and briefly they supported us a lot, therefore we became more confident that we could make it,” they said happily.

“During our trip to Paris, L’Oréal gave us other workshops at the L’Oréal company headquarters in Paris,” the girls continued.

They mentioned that after announcing the competition results, they began their own careers, as the L’Oréal company offered them a scholarship for three months and then recruited them.

Regarding the challenges that faced them, they stated that the biggest challenge was getting an idea that satisfied L’Oréal.

Egypt`s winning team for 2019

Furthermore, this year the girls are taking part in a team that consists of three members, one boy and two girls who are all students in the American University in Cairo, namely Salma Wafa, Menna Hassan, and Taymour Mohamed.

As previously mentioned, the challenge this year was innovating in the field of skin care products, hence the two girls told Daily News Egypt that their idea is considered a completion for a L’Oréal project which was launched as an application in which a system such as a mobile takes a photo of the face and then decides its facial skin problems.

They explained that the idea in brief is like a system which can allow the person to talk with their face through using nanotechnology which transmits facial information through the mobile which can then inform the customer their exact facial problems and what precisely they need to solve the facial problems– as if the face itself is talking.

“We looked forward to innovate an idea that is out of box, thus we talked and met with a lot of our professors in university. We also spoke with a lot of doctors, and we researched extensively in order to get the idea that will satisfy L’Oréal, as we hope to make a substantial impact,” they said.

Wafaa and Hassan affirmed that they are very excited to travel to Paris and for undergoing this experience, asking all Egyptians for their support.

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Uber adds new feature for female drivers to drive only women in Saudi Arabia https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/18/uber-adds-new-feature-for-female-drivers-to-drive-only-women-in-saudi-arabia/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 19:06:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696216 Uber announced a new “Women Preferred View” feature for female drivers in Saudi Arabia which allows them to select only female customers. The launch of this unique feature comes on the back of Uber’s Masaruky initiative that aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s …

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Uber announced a new “Women Preferred View” feature for female drivers in Saudi Arabia which allows them to select only female customers.

The launch of this unique feature comes on the back of Uber’s Masaruky initiative that aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part-time economic opportunities through the use of Uber technology.

The newly introduced feature is designed to meet growing interest from Saudi women seeking to benefit from the flexible economic opportunity that Uber provides, and Uber’s ongoing efforts to be mindful of the cultural landscape in Saudi Arabia. 

Commenting on the announcement, Abdellatif Waked, general manager of Uber Middle East and North Africa, said: “Last year, we announced the launch of Masaruky, an initiative aimed towards empowering women with economic opportunities by providing accessible transport solutions. We have seen an incredible response in the kingdom thus far. As part of this initiative, this newly introduced feature will open new doors and opportunities for women as Uber driver-partners, while being conscientious of local cultural norms”

He further added: “We launched this feature in response to the feedback we received from women drivers in Saudi Arabia and we are committed to always being thoughtful of how we can always improve their experience driving on the app. This is just the start, and we will continue working with experts to leverage our external research as we move forward to ensure that this is in the best interest of women driver-partners in the kingdom”

The new feature was introduced after months of research to understand the perspectives of Saudi women on transport and driving, followed by a pilot run last year. Uber’s research, that was carried out in collaboration with Ipsos in February 2018, found almost 31% of those surveyed indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity. In a more recent study, the company also found that 74% of prospective women drivers interviewed would only be interested in driving women riders.

Since its pilot run last year Women Preferred View has connected female driver-partners with female riders at the push of a button across the kingdom. To learn more about Uber’s initiatives for women in the kingdom.

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Two Egyptian females win 2019 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/18/two-egyptian-females-win-2019-pulitzer-prize-for-international-reporting/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 16:57:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696230 Associated Press (AP) journalists Maggie Michael and Nariman El-Mofty won on Monday a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for their extensive coverage of the conflict in Yemen, becoming the first Egyptian women to ever win this prestigious award. The Pulitzer Prize is the American journalism’s most prestigious honour. The award was announced in 1917 by …

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Associated Press (AP) journalists Maggie Michael and Nariman El-Mofty won on Monday a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for their extensive coverage of the conflict in Yemen, becoming the first Egyptian women to ever win this prestigious award.

The Pulitzer Prize is the American journalism’s most prestigious honour. The award was announced in 1917 by publisher Joseph Pulitzer to honour the achievements of outstanding journalists.

Maggie Michael is an Egyptian reporter based in Cairo. Her work has covered political and religious conflict in the Middle East. Nariman El-Mofty is a Canadian-Egyptian photojournalist covering Egypt, Yemen, and other parts of the Middle East.

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For its 10th time: L’Oréal Group recognised as one of world’s most ethical companies https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/18/for-its-10th-time-loreal-group-recognised-as-one-of-worlds-most-ethical-companies/ Thu, 18 Apr 2019 16:47:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696226 On the occasion of L’Oréal group’s recognition as one of the most ethical companies on the global level, for the 10th time, Daily News Egypt interviewed Emmanuel Lulin, L’Oréal Group’s senior vice-president and ethics chief officer. The discussion tackled L’Oréal Group’s commitment worldwide towards ethics, and how the group has succeeded in implementing an effective …

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On the occasion of L’Oréal group’s recognition as one of the most ethical companies on the global level, for the 10th time, Daily News Egypt interviewed Emmanuel Lulin, L’Oréal Group’s senior vice-president and ethics chief officer. The discussion tackled L’Oréal Group’s commitment worldwide towards ethics, and how the group has succeeded in implementing an effective ethical strategy at the workplace. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

The business ethics area is relatively new, so can we begin by defining what L’Oréal’s business ethics are?

Ethics is about the principles which we define for ourselves, in terms of how the company operates as well as how people behave within the organisation.

In the case of L’Oréal, it was a proactive approach, which started in 2000. L’Oréal was one of the first companies to establish a ‘Code of Ethics’ and appoint a chief ethics officer in 2007. L’Oréal articulates ethics around four ethical principles: integrity, respect, courage, and transparency.

These principles are expressed in the daily operations of our teams around the world and must be understood by all L’Oréal’s employees.

Hence, the role of this department is to contribute, educate, and train in order to reach ethical decisions.

Business is not merely a realm for profit maximising; it is also a human reality. As such, human excellence can manifest itself in the decisions and the conduct of individuals and organisations. L’Oréal is committed to highlighting ethics as essential to and at the core of its business activities and decision-making. The complexities of a global and dynamic business world, where non-economic and economic concerns coexist, give ethics a vital role in guiding human action, always with the potential for human excellence in mind.

Do you think the law follows ethics completely, as both of them are on the same track?

The law may be understood as the systematic set of universally accepted rules and regulations created by an appropriate authority such as the government, which may be regional, national, or international. However, it is not strictly the same as ethics; some things could be lawful in the eyes of the law, but might seem ethically awful. You can spot on the difference by asking yourself two questions “Do I have the right to do this?” versus “Is this the right thing to do?” Ethics prove that if an action could be the right thing to do, it still does not mean that you should do it

What are the roles and responsibilities of the ethics chief officer?

The roles are to make sure that we act properly, to make sure that managers are able to lead, to make sure that people take their responsibilities, to make sure there is a good equilibrium in both power and responsibility. Ethics help create good governance; it constantly reminds us of what we are doing. “Trust” is ethics’ most eminent benefit

If you want to measure the activity of an organisation, you can look at the financial accounts – regardless of the currency. When you want to measure the proficiency/efficiency of an organisation, you do not look at the market’s numbers; you look at a special currency called “trust”. We as an organisation need the trust of our consumers, clients, suppliers, shareholders and above all we need the trust of our employees. As a matter of fact, I perceive what I do as more of a duty than a job.

Emmanuel Lulin, L’Oréal Group’s senior vice-president and ethics chief officer

Are there any examples of ethical activities implemented at L’Oréal which you can share?

The deployment of L’Oréal’s ethics programme is based on three major levers.

First, there is a steering and a monitoring system which includes tools for ethical risk analysis and assessment, as well as a market reporting system and regular audits. Our strong commitment to ethics has drawn the attention of the public, as well as our investors and NGOs, it is therefore essential that it happens in a measurable way and we report our progress to external stakeholders. We measure ethics at the leadership and management levels for instance, evaluating how managers manage and their personal involvement to promote this culture of ethics. All managers have key performance indicators related to ethics. The board of directors and the executive committee look at our progress as they look at our business and financial performance.

The two other levers are awareness raising and engagement to promote the involvement of employees at all levels of the group on ethics and promoting a culture of dialogue and transparency, the “Speakup” policy.

Why is there only one central unit for ethics located in the headquarters?

L’Oréal’s headquarters is located in Paris, but we have L’Oréal’s ethics strategy and programmes that compromises about 75 ethics officers in every country we operate in, for example, in Egypt we have a L’Oréal Egypt ethical correspondent. We always seek maturity, listening skills, and public relations skills more than having multiple central units. What is interesting is that we decided to have ethics chief officers as a post than to have an ethics committee. We wanted to avoid the risk of jeopardising the value of an ethics committee

How should companies judge the success of their compliance efforts?

There are several ways to judge success. For example, when people say that they believe and trust in the company, or if they buy the company’s products, then the success is coming through its consumers. You can also say that success is achieved when investors consider your company to be sustainable, making them interested in buying shares

You can also judge from the employees as when there are employees who are interested in joining this company because they believe in the culture that the company stands for, which are the freedom of expression, safety, anti-bullying, anti-corruption, and anti-harassment. This is what I consider as a success.

We have zero tolerance for corruption and sexual harassment. We operate in 150 countries around the globe, but we address the issues head-on instead of sweeping them under the rug. We pride ourselves in communicating our problems internally using statistics. We openly share the cases with everyone and we highlight the problems that were handled, in order to be very transparent with our employees

Why is simply complying with the law no longer enough?

The issue is that the speed of technical and scientific innovation is much faster than the process it takes to create a legal framework. There is a gap in the market, and this gap is filled by our values. Abiding by the law is not the sole framework for decision-making anymore. It is better for companies to concentrate on the positive side of ethics rather than the negative side. It helps to create a culture of integrity and loyalty rather than conflict.

Are there any particular ethical issues which companies should look out for in the coming years?

I think that the concept of human rights is a very crucial topic in today’s world; it will become the key focus in every corporation. Corruption is a huge subject but I believe that human rights are more important and will most probably triumph in eliminating corruption. Human rights will be the next instrument of change. The increasing focus on human rights forces organisations to have a wider and a more integrated view of the local situation where they operate

Concluding, can you tell us more about the itinerary of your business trip to Cairo and what are the objectives you wish to accomplish?

This is my fifth or sixth visit to Egypt. We at L’Oréal are very optimistic about Egypt, and what I see is that L’Oréal Egypt is heading in the right direction on all levels.

For me, I hope that I can continue to implement our four principles of ethics at all of L’Oréal’s subsidiaries. I believe that businesses must pursue ethical policies in order to succeed. Today’s investors, shareholders, and consumers do not only expect strong ethical standards but also request them. People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of human rights. Therefore, companies should ensure their supply chains are free from human rights violations and make sure that their products are ethically sourced.

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‘Menstrual leave’: delayed right or preferential move? https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/15/menstrual-leave-delayed-right-or-preferential-move/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=695885 Debates over women’s rights for days off during their periods

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Throughout several days every month, many women around the world suffer from menstrual pain (the symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle) by varying degrees. Some turn to pain killers in order to manage their daily duties, hiding sickness during work, while others can barely leave their beds.

For the first time in Egypt, a marketing company decreed earlier this month to offer its female employees a day off every month: the first or second day of their menstruation. The move raised debates among both women and men equally over the positive and negative effects of such a decision if applied in the country’s labour market.

Critics claim that business owners would hire fewer women, viewing women as less capable of working. Some of them already prefer unmarried women or females without children to reduce the numbers of days off during their work hours, they added. 

However, supporters believe that the ‘menstrual leave’ is a much-delayed right, especially since several companies around the world have already been offering this kind of vacation to women.

In fact, the ‘menstrual leave’ already exists in several countries where women who severely suffer from menstrual pain are offered one or two days off, either paid or unpaid. Those countries include Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea. In other parts of the world, ‘menstrual leave’ policies emerged in some companies including the United Kingdom. 

In Egypt, female workers already have the right to take a paid vacation of three months after giving birth only twice throughout their work history, according to the country’s Labour Law. Female labourers are also allowed to take an unpaid vacation not exceeding two years to take care of their children, only twice throughout their work history.

Menstruation is stigmatised

Menstrual symptoms usually include psychological and physical sickness. Women feel pain in the form of stomach cramps, lower back pain, breast pain, headaches, lack of concentration as well as mood swings.

As menstruation is still stigmatised, women prefer not to mention such symptoms if they need to take a day off from work. Female workers rarely talk openly about their menstrual cycles and their need to a paid vacation as they fear they might lose their jobs or because menstruation is still a taboo subject in society. 

A 2016 research revealed that menstrual pain can be “as bad as having a heart attack,” according to John Guillebaud, professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College London. However, ‘period pain’ still is not taken seriously by many doctors.

On the other hand, women experience menstrual pain differently. A 2012 study found that 20% of women experience their periods painful enough to interfere with their daily activities.

First of its kind in Egypt

The Egyptian company which took the initiative stated that every female employee is allowed to take a paid day off from their menstruation days. If there is an urgent need for work, women could work from home, the company explained. 

“This came following an initiative launched by a number of feminist organisations and out of our keenness toward our employees being in sound mind and body,” Rania Youssef, the office and human resources manager of the company told Daily News Egypt (DNE).

“We want all female employees to feel comfortable in their workplace. If they are not ok, they have the right to leave the office and get some rest for a day,” Youssef added.

Youssef disclosed that 90% of the company’s workforce are females, with ages ranging from 23 to 28. “The decree was not faced by any kind of rejection from the male employees,” Youssef noted. 

Some detractors claim that the company, which was launched two years ago, took such a move to draw attention to itself. Yet, Youssef said that they did so for the sake of the health of the company’s female employees.

One day is not enough

Mahmoud Ragab, an art director and a team leader said that one day will not be enough for women during their menstruation. “I witness these kinds of physical pain and physiological changes with my wife, as she usually becomes very sick during her periods,” Ragab told DNE. “Therefore, I believe that the vacation could range from two or three days, as one day is really not enough.”

Meanwhile, Ragab said that he would not mind allowing a female employee within his team to take days off if she is menstruating. “I will never hesitate to allow her days off. I do not believe it is an unjust measure, as women really suffer during their periods.” 

Similarly, Eman agreed with the new measure, criticising those who accused women of being incapable in the labour market. “Every woman has the right to take a ‘menstrual leave’ if she feels sick and cannot manage her work,” Eman told DNE.

Furthermore, Eman noted that even people suffering from mental illness have the right to have days off, as this shall never undermine their abilities or skills.

Meanwhile, Fatma said that she wishes everyone, males or females, would have the right to wake up in the morning and request a day off if they are not ok, “Without needing to reveal the reason behind their request,” Fatma told DNE.

It is inequitable

Yet, other women warned that such a decision, if applied in each institution or business, would have a negative effect on the female’s participation rate in the labour market.

“I am totally against such a measure. It would lead to a remarkable decrease in women’s employment opportunities in the labour market. We already suffer from such a cut-down,” Yousra told DNE.

Meanwhile, Heba opposed the concept of the ‘menstrual leave’, explaining that such a move might make business owners prefer men over women. “Such a measure will support the notion that women should not leave their homes or work and such ridiculous ideas.”

Yet, Mariam said that companies have to be aware that some women will not be able to work during the first day of their menstruation.

“Unfortunately, there are companies which include doctors and pharmacists who are not aware how severe period pain is,” Mariam told DNE.

“Once I was very sick, and I turned to the company’s clinic and asked for a day off. I was literally crying from the pain. However, the doctor refused to authorise my request, noting that he can’t allow me a day off just because I have my period! This is not fair,” Mariam recalled.

Concurrently, Hebatullah voiced that the concept should be optional, as women who cannot work during menstruation can take a day off, while others who do not suffer much should go to work as usual. “By the way, I am from these women whose first day of menstruation is like hell. I might even faint from the severity of the pain.”

On the other hand, Karim Al-Sayed, a marketing consultant, revealed that he does not mind that his female colleagues take days off more than him. “I think they need to take a day off if they are suffering from period pain. They really need it.”

However, Al-Sayed said that in a patriarchal society, women would face ridiculous comments due to their ‘menstrual leave.’

“They are already struggling with such a sexist society, and if they reveal the reasons behind their vacation they will face more undesirable comments as the period is still a taboo subject.”    

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Meet masterminds behind upcoming Narrative Disruptors summit https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/11/meet-masterminds-behind-upcoming-narrative-disruptors-summit/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 10:00:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=695679 When you are trying to get the word out about your product by marketing and promoting it, the process can be difficult. Hence, branding or promoting a notion or a country will be even more difficult. Since 2016, Lamia Kamel, chairperson of the communications consulting agency CC Plus, took the risk regarding Narrative Summits, which is …

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When you are trying to get the word out about your product by marketing and promoting it, the process can be difficult. Hence, branding or promoting a notion or a country will be even more difficult.

Since 2016, Lamia Kamel, chairperson of the communications consulting agency CC Plus, took the risk regarding Narrative Summits, which is all about that mission.

Kamel told Daily News Egypt in an interview that the Narrative Summit is an initiative aiming at nation branding, which requires an identity, a purpose, and a desire to communicate the purpose of this particularity.

“Hence, we had to capitalise on partnerships. Therefore, from year one, we built partnerships with the United States embassy in Cairo, the United Nations (UN), the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), and others international public relation agencies,” Kamel stated. 

She explained that the idea was to bring the best calibres in the country and to discuss growth, leadership, and similar issues about PR, which would support the notion of nation branding, and as the summit persisted to the second and third edition, it grew further in terms of partnerships.

“My objective throughout all the editions of the narrative summits is to create an initiative platform to support Egypt’s branding as Egypt has a really wide spectrum,” she stated proudly. 

“What we really want to focus on is a futuristic, progressive approach, and to shed light on leadership and collaboration,” Kamel asserted. 

On 14 April, the fourth Narrative Summit will kick off in Cairo, which is considered as Egypt’s first international tech innovation forum. 

The event will be organised by CC Plus in cooperation with digital solutions provider VictoryLink, under the auspices of Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, and the Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs, Nabila Makram.

Kamel told DNE in an interview that the upcoming event is about a subtopic of the narrative “Innovation” as Egypt is very progressive when it comes to embracing entrepreneurship and aligning with artificial intelligence. 

“We named it ‘Disruptors,’ as it’s about innovation and everyone who has a stake in it. We still have the arms of the ministry of communication and information technology, UN Women, the US embassy, and Endeavor Egypt, which is one of the leading entrepreneurial institutions and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) working to upscale small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as Zooba and SolarizEgypt. So, we kept the same model, but this time we are partnered with a digital solution provider, VictoryLink. We’re also expecting more youth will be involved in the next summit since it’s about innovation and technology,” Kamel explained. 

Notably, implementing the Narrative Disruptors event is the first execution of the summit’s 2018 proposals. 

DNE also interviewed Engy El-Saban, CEO of VictoryLink, who is the second mastermind behind this year’s edition, to know more details about the summit, in addition to delving into the obstacles that women face in Egypt, as well as the fintech industry in Egypt. 

Why technology and digitalisation are the summit’s main topics?

Kamel and El-Saban believe that the technological revolution is the backbone behind the success of all sectors and that there is no better opportunity than this summit.

El-Saban: As leaders in the technology field, we have a vision to continuously expand in the market, and we’ve been looking to undertake a new approach that would enable us to reach a wider audience said. 

We realised Narrative Disruptors’ great potential in being our first step toward starting a new journey of success in organising our own events, as it is based on a series of well-established summits which tackle crucial topics that impact our society and address how technology is the best fitting solution. Narrative Disruptors perfectly reflects our corporate identity, as a sole event that brings under its name change makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs from diverse industries to share their knowledge and best practices.

This is the first of many events we’ll be organising throughout the upcoming years, as our short-term plan will have us introducing our newest subsidiary that’s specialised in event organisation and management. 

The goal behind this summit

Kamel: The goal behind all the narrative summits was to brand and promote Egypt, not just internally but also externally, in addition to discussing challenges and problems, as well as deliberating and finding out solutions of what could hinder Egypt’s development. 

El-Saban: We aim to establish a forum which enables professionals to engage in narratives of local relevance and global influence, share experiences, and set the future trends in the field of corporate communication.

They both agreed that the goal of such a summit is to implement the 2030 Vision and the 17 sustainable development goals by shedding light on the role of technology and innovation. This will be done through highlighting the role of leading disruptors in the growth of various industries and how technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship were catalysts for this growth by bringing the main pillars of the digital era we live in today.

The summit’s details 

Kamel: Last year, the narrative summit, which is the main summit, witnessed the attendance of around 700 to 800 people, while this year it is a by-product from the main summit, thus we expect around 400 or 500 attendees.

El-Saban: The summit will bring more than 17 international and local influential policymakers, corporate chiefs, and leading professionals from different sectors, including real estate, banking, technology, tourism, NGOs, and the media. About 41% of Narrative Disruptors speakers are women. 

Kamel: The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, and the Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs, Nabila Makram, will both be keynote speakers in the summit. 

El-Saban: The summit will tackle three main topics through their panels which are entrepreneurship, fintech, and disruption. 

As for sessions, we will be focusing on the role of digitisation in different fields, whether it is in the entertainment field, telecommunications, banking, or the tourism sector and their roles in growing and developing them. 

Kamel: The summit will consider artificial intelligence (AI), culture, art, media, and sustainability.

Narrative Disruptors is meant to encourage women to enter labour force, especially fintech industry

More women to enter the labour force

El-Saban: We aspire to shed light on the disparity between male and female domination of fintech industry by highlighting women’s continuous rise to the challenge and their pursuit of positions of impact in financial and technology companies of all shapes and sizes. We want to showcase these relatable, everyday women who have succeeded in their fields hoping to inspire women by spreading awareness of the benefits and potential of immersing themselves into the fintech industry.

Kamel: The summit focuses on inclusion. It means that women are just like men so they have equal rights. They will showcase what women are capable of doing and their potential, noting that the summit has a great line-up of very successful women. 

So basically, what we are trying to get here is to try to improve what women are able to do, and by doing that we create a homogeneous platform or atmosphere for more women to work and upgrade, and therefore, we are instigating the ability of society to accept that, and the ability of the society to celebrate successful women and their abilities, so this way we are giving women rights and opportunities.

Women face challenges in labour market

Kamel: During the past few years, the state has been very supportive of women and backing their place in society more than ever. 

I feel that we as women are part of many conversations with significant means and we are approached by so many institutions, which include us in their campaigns, their thinking, and their strategies. However, women still face many changes, but I think a lot of these challenges are the segregation of duties of men and women. So, men are expected to work, and women are expected to take care of the children, or of the household.

For some reasons, the dogma or the notion is that men should only be responsible to work and basically bring in the income for the company, whereas women are expected to support this family by bringing up the kids and taking care of the household. Whereas now women are having better education and increased exposure to society. Men have not taken some of the responsibilities off of the women. On the other hand, if you go to Europe, the US, or many of the first world countries, you’d see the responsibilities split between the two, the work responsibilities between the two, and the household work is also split between the two, but getting back to our society, we are still lagging in this area. 

So I think society has to accept that women are not just women, they are people, and basically the splitting of roles can be supportive for both, and that there is no book of rules that says that men cannot raise children or that women cannot work.

Another challenge is the support system, as women are still relying on outside help such as their mothers, whereas they have a husband who should share part of that, hence this is another burden. 

Also, women may be exposed to is the bias that they are not able to do certain things, or that they are too emotional to make decisions, or they are not equally fair or professional in the workforce as the men. 

Reasons behind limited representation of women in fintech industry

El-Saban: We can categorise women’s lacking representation in fintech according to a number of constraints. For example, when it comes to women’s demands of financial services, women face social norms that inhibit their access to financial resources, as well as their ability to work in the financial sector, and lack of mobility and access to bank branches also plays a significant role in this, in addition to poverty and lack of resources, which limit financial literacy.

On the other hand, supply constraints are influenced by factors such as cultural disconnection between the banks and the poor and the limited presence of banks in rural areas creates a wide divide between banking processes which are not adapted to underprivileged women.

As for women’s representation in the fintech industry, according to the Women’s World Banking, currently there are 23.2 million Egyptian women who remain excluded from the formal financial system, which is 73% of the adult population in Egypt, while only 27% have proper access to a personal bank account, representing a gender gap of 12% –while men make up 39%. On the other hand, in the second quarter of 2018, micro financing benefited almost 3 million adults in Egypt, out of which 70% were women. Microfinance allowed women to pay their own bills, transfer money to their loved ones, or start their own savings accounts. 

Fintech industry in Egypt 

El-Saban: The fintech market aims to transform Egypt from a cash dependent society to an e-payment society at all levels of the financial services sector, from the highest-level to the grassroots level. With a population of around 100 million people, Egypt is ripe for the development of its fintech sector. While only a third of the adult population has a formal bank account, a significant number of providers have developed a market that can facilitate access for the large unbanked population, as well as open the banked population toward more technologically sophisticated services.

The Egyptian culture still needs some work on raising the awareness of the benefits of fintech products and services. Entities, governments, and corporations must as well abandon traditional work habits and start directing their services through fintech solutions. For example, banks need to rely less on physical branches and distribution models that go through many offline processes. 

In Egypt, we are held back by our longstanding mentality when it comes to fear of online identity and information theft. Lack of information fuels this fear and trepidation when it comes to exploring new financial products and services that are blended with technology.

Kamel: The fintech industry in Egypt is going to substitute the underground economy, and to grow dramatically. It is going to blossom.

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L’Oreal Egypt opens application door for L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowship For Women in Science until 6 June https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/04/loreal-egypt-opens-application-door-for-loreal-unesco-fellowship-for-women-in-science-until-6-june/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 11:00:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=695015 L’Oreal Egypt announced the extension of the application time in the second Egyptian edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO initiative for ‘Women in Science’ in the field of scientific research, until 6 June. This is in order to support and encourage more women in the fields of scientific research and in the areas of life sciences and …

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L’Oreal Egypt announced the extension of the application time in the second Egyptian edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO initiative for ‘Women in Science’ in the field of scientific research, until 6 June. This is in order to support and encourage more women in the fields of scientific research and in the areas of life sciences and engineering.

The winners will be announced in late October this year, where three Egyptian female researchers will win the fellowship, one in the PhD stage, and two in the doctoral stage.

The ‘Women in Science’ initiative has succeeded in encouraging and supporting more than 3,000 researchers from 117 countries through the local and regional programme edition, obtained by 19 researchers and other Egyptian scientists.

L’Oreal launched the Egyptian edition of the ‘Women in Science’ programme in 2018, in cooperation with the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Egypt, and the UNESCO regional office in Egypt to support and encourage more successful distinguished Egyptian researchers in the field of science, to present them as inspiring models for new generations, as well as to encourage women in science.

The evaluation for the researches would be conducted through a committee of senior researchers and scientists. The committee will be headed by the Chairperson of the jury of the L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘ Women in Science’ programme, Najwa Abdel Majid, a professor of human genetics in the Department of Research for Children with Special Needs, and who also heads the research team at the National Center for Scientific Research.

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Egypt aims to increase women’s political participation by 35%: Morsi https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/04/egypt-aims-to-increase-womens-political-participation-by-35-morsi/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 10:00:23 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=695013 Women own 27% of bank accounts in Egypt, says NCW’s president

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According to Egypt’s 2030 Vision, the country targets to raise women’s political participation and involvement in the decision-making processes on all scales by 35%, said Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW).

She added that the NCW conducted a study on women’s representation in the Egyptian compared to other countries. Although it reached 15%, Egypt still ranks 135 globally in terms of women’s participation in the political and decision-making spheres.

Morsi explained that if the women’s representation in parliament rises to 25% while the parliamentary representation of women in other countries remains constant, Egypt will increase to the 68th rank globally, 15th among African states, and fourth among Arab states as it currently ranks 12th in the Arab world.

For political empowerment, Egypt ranks 122nd on a global scale but can be the 91st if the percentage of women’s representation in parliament increases to 25 %. If that is achieved and simultaneously the percentage of female ministers remains 25%, Egypt can jump to the 67th rank. 

Her remarks came during the Egyptian Women’s Day ceremony held on Saturday. 

Morsi divided women’s empowerment into different axes including economic, political, and social empowerment in addition to the NCW’s aspirations.

In the context of women’s economic empowerment, Morsi stated that the goal of the council is to expand and enhance women’s skills and qualifications in order to boost their participation in the labour force through education, training, marketing services, financial inclusion programmes, noting that in the period from March 2018 to March 2019, the NCW reached 126,000 women so far.


“We appreciate our partnership with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), which is still the first of its kind worldwide. Through this partnership, we aim to increase women’s bank accounts by from 9% to 18% by 2030,”she explained.

“The global measure index named Findex showed that 27% of bank accounts in Egypt belong to women. We currently have 800 female leaders who promote financial inclusion across Egypt’s governorates,” the NCW’s president added.

Regarding the NCW’s aspirations, Morsi said that among them is to witness women’s entry in all segments of the judiciary system and get the representation percentage they deserve, in addition to having one more university president after Hend Hanafy, as well as a promulgation of a law that protects women from all types of violence.

Last but not least is to see women reaching increasingly higher positions related to decision-making.

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Soha Murad: rising Egyptian designer’s journey to success https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/04/soha-murad-rising-egyptian-designers-journey-to-success/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 09:00:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=695007 Today, a large number of females are pursuing their own passions and breaking free from traditional work routines. More than ever, females are currently using their unique talents to shape their own career paths, all while doing what they love and what they are passionate about. The Egyptian fashion design arena is evolving now more …

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Today, a large number of females are pursuing their own passions and breaking free from traditional work routines. More than ever, females are currently using their unique talents to shape their own career paths, all while doing what they love and what they are passionate about.

The Egyptian fashion design arena is evolving now more than ever before; with a rising number of Egyptian fashion designers taking the global fashion scene by storm. One of those rising fashion designers is Soha Murad who managed to establish her own brand by designing tailor-made haute couture pieces, and was able to leave her own mark in a very short period of time.

Although she is a working mother, Murad has shown extreme dedication toward her career, which is reflected in each exquisitely tailored piece that she designs with the outmost passion and meticulousness.

Daily News Egypt spoke to Murad in order to know more about her aspirations and challenges, and what it is like to be a female entrepreneur and a fashion designer. Murad started by narrating that she had always been enthusiastic about pursuing fashion design, as she had always known that it was her ultimate passion.

“My late father always encouraged me to pursue what I love. He always believed in me and my dreams and I think this was the reason behind my determination to follow my passion,” she explained.

The fashion designer stated that she had this dream since she was very young. Although she studied business administration, she never gave up on what she loved. She recounted that her journey did not start right after graduation, as she was confused in the beginning and worked in diverse sectors, including real-estate and insurance. “After several years of working in different fields, I finally decided it was time to start doing what I always wanted. I started by taking a fashion design course at an Egyptian university, then it all began from that point onwards,” she highlighted.

“Almost a year ago, after I completed my studies, I started by designing dresses for my friends and family members. At the time, I received extremely positive feedback, so I started expanding one step at a time, until I reached this point where I have my own design house, Soha Murad,” Murad declared proudly.

Throughout her journey, the fashion designer stated that she received support from all of her family members which facilitated the journey for her, as they consoled and encouraged her every time she was in doubt or was facing a challenging situation.

When asked about what distinguishes her from other designers, she stated that she believes that each designer has his/her unique signature and taste, and this is what makes fashion designers stand out from one another. “For me, each client is a separate project, and I am always working to create unique pieces for each and every single one of my clients,” Murad emphasised, adding, “I think what also makes designers different from each other is each one’s vision, and the effort you put into what you are doing.”

As for her source of inspiration, she cited that she gets her inspirations from several elements around her, most prominently nature and its colours. “Yet, it could really be anything around me, things that you would not even imagine. From architectural designs to movies and books, ideas could originate, paving the way for me to create a new piece,” she explained.

Notably, Murad’s latest collection titled ‘Frida’ was inspired from the female empowered iconic figure, Frida Kahlo. Her collection was created for the modern female to make her feel strong and confident in her own body. The designer wanted to translate those female empowering messages into wearable designs, so the collection was designed to be mostly dark in its colours, and is characterised by bold and edgy designs.

Regarding the dresses’ customisation process, Murad stated that it usually depends on the details, such as the dress embroidery, beads, and fabrics. Generally, it takes her up to a month to be able to customise a dress. However, the duration could be shorter or longer, for example a bridal dress could take from 4 to 6 months. “I usually do not prefer to be tight on time, as it is better to design each dress precisely with great attention to the smallest details. Quality is my number one priority.”

Concerning the materials, Murad said that she mainly depends on local retailers to get her fabrics, as they offer high-quality fabrics from all over the world, noting that there is not a big need to purchase imported fabrics.

As for her role model in the local fashion industry, she stated that it is Maison Yeya, which was initially established by Yasmine Yeya in Egypt. According to Murad, when Yeya first started, the idea of female fashion designers was uncommon. “I think she is currently one of Egypt’s top couturieres who managed to achieve international recognition and took the Egyptian fashion industry to a whole new level,” she declared.

Yet, she faced several challenges throughout her journey, as starting one’s own personal business is never that easy, and one has to go through several difficulties before you start witnessing positive results. “Initially, it was very difficult and challenging to start my own business. There were many risks, but I had a target and I was determined to achieve it,” Murad stressed.

“There will be times when you will feel extremely doubtful and other times when you will feel that you are failing, but don’t give up on your dreams. The road to success will never be easy,” Murad advised.

As for the work-life balance, she explained that it was one of the major struggles that she had to go through, especially at the beginning of her career. “I think this is one of my biggest challenges, having enough time for both my atelier, and with my own family,” she explained, adding. “Yet, by time, I got to learn how to divide my time evenly, and I thank my supportive family for this.”

As for the future of the couture house, Murad’s commitment toward quality is her number one priority. “I aspire to become an internationally recognised brand that serves people all over the world with distinct designs and a remarkable footprint. The most important thing for me is to be able to sustain my success, and to continue to be innovative. I also wish I can contribute toward promoting Egypt’s fashion industry, and help in making it one of the biggest countries in the fashion scene,” she finally declared.

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Egypt ranks first in rate of caesarean deliveries: Abdel-Maguid Ramzy https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/30/egypt-ranks-first-in-rate-of-caesarean-deliveries-abdel-maguid-ramzy/ Sat, 30 Mar 2019 09:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694395 Egypt is ranked first in terms of the rate of caesarean deliveries in the world, Abdel-Maguid Ramzy, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department in Al-Qasr Al-Eini Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, told Daily News Egypt in an interview during the 20th Annual International Conference of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Faculty of Medicine …

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Egypt is ranked first in terms of the rate of caesarean deliveries in the world, Abdel-Maguid Ramzy, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department in Al-Qasr Al-Eini Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, told Daily News Egypt in an interview during the 20th Annual International Conference of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Faculty of Medicine in Al-Qasr Al-Eini.

The president of the conference explained that the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Faculty of Medicine in Al-Qasr Al-Eini chose the topic of the caesarean section in Egypt as a main theme of the conference, in a rapid response to the warning issued by the World Health Organization regarding the problem of caesarean sections in Egypt, where the latest statistics indicate that the year 2018 witnessed a rise in the proportion of caesarean sections in Egypt and its complications which rose to 57% of the cases, and became the first in the world.

“Also, this year, we focused properly on raising awareness about the spread of unwarranted medical caesarean operations and the consequent complications, including bleeding during childbirth, which may lead to the death of women during delivery, in addition to the complications that may happen in the placenta,” Ramzy added.

Notably, this conference is considered one of the largest training events in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and it is held with the aim of reviewing the latest researches in Egypt and the world in order to improve the medical service provided to patients, especially in the infertility cases as well as tumours of the female reproductive system and laparoscopies.

Ramzy explained that the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Faculty of Medicine in Al-Qasr Al-Eini are working on two axes in order to decrease the rate of caesarean deliveries.

He stated that the first one is related to the doctors, mentioning that the conference trained doctors on many important topics over two days through 30 sessions and over 132 lectures.

“Meanwhile, the second axis is the general public, through convincing newly-weds that natural deliveries are better than caesarean deliveries and through showing them that caesarean deliveries bear many complications especially if it has been done several times,” he continued.

By asking the doctor when it is preferred for the mother to have a caesarean delivery, he stated that there are two reasons, the first one is related to the mother herself if her pelvis is small or if she has a small body, while the second reason is related to the baby if he/she is overweight, or is in a transverse position, or if there are multiple babies.

“My advice to every woman during her pregnancy is to eat very healthy food and stay away from fast food, artificial additives, and to do some kind of exercise throughout her entire pregnancy, in order to avoid a caesarean delivery,” he stated.

For her part, Hala Salah El-Din, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Al-Qasr Al-Eini, stressed the importance of the conference which all gynaecologists and obstetricians in Egypt anticipate yearly due to its workshops that provide continuous education for doctors.

“I advise young doctors to attend to continuous education, which must be a basic goal and a duty of every doctor to follow-up on all the latest research,” Salah El-Din advised.

She asserted that society will not rise without health and education, highlighting the importance of the health sector, indicating that the state pays great attention to it. Salah El-Din also highlighted that there are several initiatives and many laws which are being discussed in the House of Representatives to improve the doctor’s life and education.

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Egyptian woman animates cultures through handmade designs    https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/30/egyptian-woman-animates-cultures-through-handmade-designs/ Sat, 30 Mar 2019 08:00:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694383 Style, in both the east and the west, is a way to express who you are without speaking. Style encompasses everything we wear. Together, with the influence of fashion and jewellery, costumes fulfil many of our aesthetic dreams and are a worthy medium for human creative expressions reflecting a culture and its social growth. Fashion …

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Style, in both the east and the west, is a way to express who you are without speaking. Style encompasses everything we wear. Together, with the influence of fashion and jewellery, costumes fulfil many of our aesthetic dreams and are a worthy medium for human creative expressions reflecting a culture and its social growth.

Fashion and jewellery also allow people to communicate their ideas and reflect their identities. From this perspective, a 35-year-old girl called Amira Hussein launched her own handmade designs and handcrafts with a unique taste which represents different cultures, and called it ‘Urban Gallery’.

Hussein told Daily News Egypt that through her project, she provides a variety of Bedouin, oriental, Islamic, modern, bohemian, Nubian, Indian, and African designs for clothing, bags, and shoes, in addition to handmade pieces.

“Urban Gallery is dedicated to representing different cultures in the world in their best image,” Hussein stated proudly.

“I have always had a passion toward travelling the world and exploring different cultures. Plus, I love painting and drawing so I used to draw different sketches on a cup or onto a blouse or shoes, and I used to get a positive feedback about my sketches,” she narrated proudly, and added, “Then I thought to myself why not open a business which would link my passion of exploring different cultures with my drawing and painting hobby, as these hobbies were not related to my studies, since I graduated from the Faculty of Arts in 2006,” she said.

“After thinking a lot, I came up with the idea of Urban Gallery. I chose to call it Urban Gallery because I realised that everything I drew is related to a culture, so I chose this name to reflect my drawings,” she said with a glint in her eyes. Hussein established Urban Gallery in 2015, and at first, she used to create fashionable outfits only, but then she decided to expand her line of products to include anything related to outfits whether clothes or jewellery or bags or shoes.

“I want every woman to have in her cupboard or her home a masterpiece related to her culture or to a culture that she favours,” Hussein expressed her aim.

Talking about how long it takes her to create a piece of jewellery, she said that the one piece can take around a week, however designing it can take around five or six hours.

“I have many competitors in the area of drawing and painting on fashion or on jewellery, but I have no competitors in the field of drawing with the aim of reflecting cultures,” she said happily.

“My products came as an inspiration from different cultures and traditions,” Hussein declared, adding, “Maybe some people do not prefer artistic fashion as they think more practically, but there are others who like to get to unique clothes, so they visit Urban gallery.”

In terms of marketing, Hussein cited that she markets her products only through social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook.

“My dream is to develop Urban Gallery, to have a branch in every region in the world, and to have everyone own a masterpiece which reflects their culture in a modern way,” she finally stated as she expressed her dreams and hopes.

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Egypt’s first ‘ideal mother’: woman’s success story, struggles  https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/egypts-first-ideal-mother-womans-success-story-struggles/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/egypts-first-ideal-mother-womans-success-story-struggles/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 19:03:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693643 Egypt honoured 32 women across Egypt on Monday, naming them ‘ideal mothers for 2019’. The mother come from different governates across Egypt, including Cairo; Giza; Assiut; North Sinai; New Valley; Qena; Matrouh; Alexandria; Kafr El-Sheikh; Aswan; Fayoum; the Red Sea; Qaliubiya; Sharqeya; Port Said; Gharbeya; Beni Suef; Menoufiya; Beheira; Sohag; South Sinai, and Suez. Meanwhile, …

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Egypt honoured 32 women across Egypt on Monday, naming them ‘ideal mothers for 2019’. The mother come from different governates across Egypt, including Cairo; Giza; Assiut; North Sinai; New Valley; Qena; Matrouh; Alexandria; Kafr El-Sheikh; Aswan; Fayoum; the Red Sea; Qaliubiya; Sharqeya; Port Said; Gharbeya; Beni Suef; Menoufiya; Beheira; Sohag; South Sinai, and Suez.

Meanwhile, a 63-year-old widowed female from Minya, Saadiya Thabet was honoured as the first ‘ideal mother’ across Egypt, told Daily News Egypt that she has three sons, who graduated from the Faculties of Commerce, Fine Arts, and Social Service.

She narrated that she married a governmental employee. Following her marriage, her husband started suffering from epilepsy.

Thabet continued with tears in her eyes that she suffered during her husband’s treatment period, which lasted for nine years until his death in 1985, leaving her with three children, and a limited pension of EGP 55.   

The mother was responsible for her children and cared for them, as she did not find any affinity nor support from her husband’s family. Moreover, they even raised a case against her for custody of the children. However, they lost the case.

Although Thabet did not complete her education, as her father withdrew her from school in order to take care of her brothers, she insisted on educating her children until they all presently reached eminent positions in their jobs.

Furthermore, Thabet faced another affliction when her eldest son suffered from renal failure and needed nephritic dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Consequently, she did not hesitate to sell everything in her possession for his operation, in addition to donating her kidney to her son, when she was 57-years-old.

The ideal mother competition started in January, where applications were submitted through nominations.

Every year, Egypt, represented by the ministry of social solidarity, names and honours ideal mothers in the country, with the aim of commending their roles in bringing up their children to become upstanding citizens who serve their society.

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Picolina: pebble art linking beauty, nature https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/picolina-pebble-art-linking-beauty-nature/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/picolina-pebble-art-linking-beauty-nature/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 18:51:54 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693651 Egyptian female introduces new type of art to Egypt

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Not all the hobbies are only restricted to drawing, music, shooting, etc, but they may also include innovative atypical hobbies.

Mariam Marzouk, a 26-year-old Egyptian female, has a different hobby: she heeds people’s favourite quotes, decides what distinguishes their personalities, and then crafts customised gift pieces for them, through pebble art.

Marzouk told Daily News Egypt in an interview that pebble art is the use of rocks and pebbles to create works of art.

Marzouk graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 2016, with a specialisation from the animations department. She worked as a graphic designer for a while, and then decided to open a new business for pebble art in 2017, called Picolina.

Furthermore, she explained that Picolina means the ‘little one’ in Italian, as she seems younger than her age, so she decided to name it Picolina to convey her appearance.

Marzouk narrated the story of creating her project with a glint in her eyes, “One day I started drawing on stones for fun, and then I envisioned that these stones could be used in making frames (tableaus), therefore I searched online for this type of art, and I found it available in countries outside Egypt, but unfortunately in Egypt no one is engaged in this art form, which meant I had no competitors.”

The tableau idea is determined according to the person who needs it, hence she always asks them few questions such as who the present is for, or what their favourite quote is, she explained.

Regarding the tableau’s implementation, Marzouk elaborated that after grasping the required idea, she begins to sketch the image by pencil in order to show the draft copy to the client, then she sorts out all the stones to decide which ones are suitable to use in this concept.

“Every stone delivers a message. In some instances, we need a small coloured stone, and other times, we may need a big neutral stone. Therefore, the stone choice is a very important phase in pebble art, also in terms of creating a contrast between used stones,” she described.

The use of materials from nature like stones, tree branches, sea glass, and other materials were the main goal behind Marzouk’s project idea. She said that Picolina always tries to succeed in linking nature and beauty together through adding a unique natural touch to your place.

Concerning the uniqueness, she stated that she creates an art piece only once, and never repeats the same idea again.

“I think the person who receives the gift is always happy that the gift is custom-made especially for them,” she said with a smile on her face.

Marzouk stated that she gets her raw materials from various places, adding that she procures sea glass from South Sinai.

“I get the stones from different places, including South Sinai, Ras Sedr, Alexandria’s beaches, and stone quarries, I also get some from America,” she said.

Meanwhile, concerning tree branches, she cited that she buys then it from locations which trim natural tree branches. On the other hand, she purchases the frames from a carpenter and then she paints them herself.

“I get the nails and screws form Al-Attaba,” she added.

According to Marzouk, it normally takes her one week to finalise a piece of pebble art work.

Concerning her clients’ feedback, and how she markets her products, Marzouk said happily that “While inaugurating my project, I thought that my clients will only be from the upper classes. However, I got surprised that lower socio-economic classes purchase my art pieces much more than upper classes.”   She deduced that currently people want to buy something new and unique, and quite understand the value of her art products.

With respect to her project’s marketing, she declared that she only markets her products online, through various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

In terms of the prices of her art pieces, she announced that prices range from EGP 50 to EGP 600, depending on the art piece.

“I hope to further develop my project, and to open my own gallery,” she concluded.

  

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Baheya to establish integrated hospital for women’s cancer treatment for EGP 880m https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/baheya-to-establish-integrated-hospital-for-womens-cancer-treatment-for-egp-880m/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/baheya-to-establish-integrated-hospital-for-womens-cancer-treatment-for-egp-880m/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 18:19:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693633 First phase to be completed by end of 2019 

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Tamer Shawky, the chairperson of the Baheya Foundation for the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, told Daily News Egypt that Baheya’s plans are topped by establishing the first integrated hospital for the treatment of women from breast cancer on an area of ​​4,000 sqm in the city of Sheikh Zayed, at a cost of EGP 880m. 

He mentioned that it will be equipped with the latest international medical methods, with the aim of achieving the highest recovery rates. 

Furthermore, he noted that the hospital is planned to be implemented on three phases, in which the first one is the construction stage, while the second one is the implementation of the chemotherapy treatment stage, and the third one is the radiation therapy stage. 

The first phase will cost EGP 480m, while the second and third phase’s investments will be 220m,180m respectively, he mentioned. 

Shawky added that the first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, while the three phases are planned to be completed within three years.

Concerning the hospital’s capacity, he explained that it will be three times the current capacity of Baheya’s hospital, pointing out that Baheya currently receives 950 cases a day. 

Moreover, Shawky pointed out that the foundation works through its annual medical conference with the participation of a large number of specialised doctors from Egyptian universities and oncology institutes from outside Egypt, in addition to the US and Europe, in order to discuss research and the latest scientific knowledge in this field.

“Baheya also aims to expand the Baheya Academy in order to train a large number of Egyptian trainees and foreign graduates and students on the medical and administrative procedures and ways to improve the overall quality in various departments of the hospital,” he pointed out.  

Shawky finally declared, “We will also expand in the scientific research field, as Baheya has a research centre accredited by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, and receives various researches for publishing in scientific journals, in cooperation with the National Research Centre, and a number of Egyptian universities.”

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Egypt behind idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in all Arab countries https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/21/egypt-behind-idea-of-celebrating-mothers-day-in-all-arab-countries/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/21/egypt-behind-idea-of-celebrating-mothers-day-in-all-arab-countries/#respond Thu, 21 Mar 2019 18:53:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693660 Today, Thursday, marks Mother’s Day, hence all mothers ponder this day. However, many people did not know that Egypt was the first Arab country to celebrate Mother’s Day in the Arab world, with all Arab countries soon following suit. Egyptians have chosen a day in the year to honour mothers, and to express their appreciation …

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Today, Thursday, marks Mother’s Day, hence all mothers ponder this day. However, many people did not know that Egypt was the first Arab country to celebrate Mother’s Day in the Arab world, with all Arab countries soon following suit.

Egyptians have chosen a day in the year to honour mothers, and to express their appreciation for them since the Pharaonic era, by designating the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis as a symbol of motherhood.

Throughout the ages, the idea was raised again by journalists Ali and Mostafa Amin, the founders of Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper, as the former received a letter from a mother complaining of ill-treatment from her children.

Meanwhile, another mother visited Mostafa Amin in his office and told him about her story of becoming a widow, and subsequently devoting her life to her children by not remarrying. She became both a father and mother to her children, until they graduated from university and got married. However, they currently only visit her on occasions, she complained.

This prompted and pushed Ali Amin to write, in his famous column ‘Fekra’ (Idea), an article suggesting devoting a special day to celebrate mothers.

His idea gained popularity, and his column’s readers began suggesting dates to mark the occasion.

Accordingly, 21 March was selected as a day to celebrate motherhood throughout the nation, as it signals the beginning of spring.

It was celebrated for the first time in Egypt in1956, during the era of the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, after which the entire Arab world adopted the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day.

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Empowering Egyptian women to be at forefront of entrepreneurship https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/empowering-egyptian-women-to-be-at-forefront-of-entrepreneurship/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/empowering-egyptian-women-to-be-at-forefront-of-entrepreneurship/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692919 SHECAN, the women’s entrepreneurship event in the MENA region, founded by Entrepenelle, hosted its 3rd edition at the Greek Campus days ago, under the headline theme ‘Successful Failures.’ The event saw a diverse range of talks, workshops, and panel discussions on women’s experiences in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and invited a number of successful women entrepreneurs …

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SHECAN, the women’s entrepreneurship event in the MENA region, founded by Entrepenelle, hosted its 3rd edition at the Greek Campus days ago, under the headline theme ‘Successful Failures.’

The event saw a diverse range of talks, workshops, and panel discussions on women’s experiences in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and invited a number of successful women entrepreneurs and community leaders to engage in conversations about their personal journeys toward empowerment.

Bringing together more than 50 partners, including UN Women, the Swedish embassy, the National Council for Women, Nahdet Masr, Avon, Orange and the Export Development Bank of Egypt, the event was attended by more than 5,000 participants and focused on showcasing the activities of Entrepenelle alumni, and aimed to also offer opportunities to women interested in entrepreneurship in Egypt with talks featuring tips on pitching ideas, mentorship as well as multiple competitions.

Farida Salem, founder of Empower, a women’s only football school in Cairo, discussed the challenge of playing football, a sport dominated by men, and her belief that physical activity can empower women to reach for their goals.

“Getting up again after falling is what really makes the difference. And having more women as role models, this is what will change the world.”

Discussing her own leadership journey, alongside the goals of her post as Deputy Ambassador of the US Embassy in Cairo, Dorothy Shea said: “As far as I am concerned the sky is the limit. Women should be able to achieve whatever their dreams are. What I was struck by was this idea of ‘successful failures’, we need to not fear failure, it is not a destination, it is a stepping stone to success. Sometimes there can be a fear of failure, but as part of this entrepreneurship ecosystem, they are really trying to move that inhibition away. We learn from our failures and then we take our plans to the next level. I was really inspired by this theme.”

Entrepenelle is a mission driven social enterprise – that focuses on awareness, education, and resources accessibility in order to empower women economically. With more than 360 projects conducted in 9 different governorates including: Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Minya, Assiut, Sohag and Aswan, Entreprenelle has managed to affect over 5,000 beneficiaries in Egypt.

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Breast Cancer most common type of cancers among women in Egypt: WB https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/breast-cancer-most-common-type-of-cancers-among-women-in-egypt-wb/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/breast-cancer-most-common-type-of-cancers-among-women-in-egypt-wb/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 09:00:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692925 This type estimated to be cause of 22% all cancer-related female deaths, says WB

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Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancers among women in Egypt and is estimated to

be the cause of 22% of all cancer-related female deaths, according to the ‘women’s economic empowerment study,’ which is published by the World Bank (WB), in coordination with the National Council of Women (NCW).

The report stated in its health chapter that early detection is critically important in reducing deaths from breast cancer, noting that results from the 2015 Egypt Health Issues Survey (EHIS) show that only 11% of the women aged between 15 and 59 are aware of how to conduct self-examination in order to look for signs of breast cancer.

“Awareness is higher among women living in urban areas (16%), women with secondary education (20%) and women belonging to the highest wealth quintile (23%),” according to the report.

Unfortunately, the report stated that only 6% of women surveyed had self-examined in the 12 months prior to the survey.

“Clinical screening, whether it involves a provider examining the breast or mammography or other clinical screening approaches, is rare. Overall, 2% of women aged between 15 and 59 said they had never had any form of clinical screening,” the report revealed.

In terms of hepatitis C, the report showed that it is lower among women, pointing out that the estimates from the DHS show that 1% of females, compared to 3% of males have the disease. However, the percentage of individuals knowing about hepatitis C and who can name at least one way the illness can be contracted is higher among males than females with 66% and 58% respectively.

Concerning caesarean deliveries, the report stated that it involves greater risks of morbidity and mortality for both the woman and her baby.

The 2014 EDHS found that 52% of babies born in the five years prior to the survey had been delivered by caesarean section.

Notably, the prevalence of caesarean delivery in Egypt is among the highest worldwide.

According to the WHO, the clinically accepted percentage is 15%, while the recent figure of 52% is almost double the proportion of caesarean deliveries reported in 2008 (28%) and more than five times the level observed in 2000 which was only 10%.

Moreover, the report stated that the educational level and wealth are factors influencing the choice of the delivery type.

In terms of the timing of making the decision to have a caesarean delivery, the report said that the decision is made during the pregnancy period, while in only 17% of cases the decision was made after the woman went into labour.

Subsequently, the report concluded that the early preference for caesarean deliveries suggests that it is a decision based on convenience rather than medical grounds. The decision to opt for a caesarean delivery is influenced by the doctor.

Furthermore, the report explained that nearly 80% of women believe that doctors prefer caesarean deliveries to vaginal deliveries.

“The significant increase in caesarean deliveries is of considerable concern for the health of both mother and child, in addition to representing a huge waste of resources and increase in costs for the healthcare system,” according to the report.

The report added that comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS is extremely rare among Egyptian women with only 6% having correct knowledge about the disease, and an even lower percentage which is 4% was observed among young women between 15 and 24 years of age.

Talking about the female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C): the report stated that recent data from 2014 showed that 87% of all women between 15 and 49 years of age have been circumcised. However, adherence to the practice is declining among younger women.

“The prevalence of FGM/C is 70% among those aged 15 to 19, and 82% among the 20 to 24 age groups, and tends to increase with age as it becomes universal with older cohorts,” according to the report.

The report noted that the rate also decreases according to wealth quintile, with the prevalence at 70% among women belonging to the highest quintile compared to 94% among women belonging to the lowest quintile.

“Although female genital mutilation and cutting is prohibited according to the Child Law 126/2008, the practice continues to prevail, and adherence to the custom remains widespread,” the report assured.

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Old but gold https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/old-but-gold/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/14/old-but-gold/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 08:00:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692912 ‘Hawa After 40’ initiative seeking to empower women in their 40s, above

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“To every woman who turned 40 or above, you have not run out of time, there are a lot of opportunities awaiting you, life still goes on,” it was with these words that Abeer Daif began to think about an initiative to bring together all women in their 40s and above, and call it ‘Hawa After 40’.

Daif, the founder of ‘Hawa After 40’, told Daily News Egypt that ‘Hawa After 40’ is a community or a network based in Maadi-not just an initiative that brings together women in their 40s and above-seeking to help them learn new skills to enter the labour market through offering them workshops and courses, in addition to teaching them how to shift careers, how to establish their own businesses, how to market their projects, as well as pricing and selling their products or services.

She stated that the individuals who give the courses are professional specialists in every field, mentioning that these courses are given at nominal prices.

“We also help women through offering them jobs in our online network, in addition to that, ‘Hawa After 40’ is cooperating with major companies to offer women after 40 freelance or part time jobs,” she continued.

Daif explained that the idea of originating this initiative came after her personal experience with re-entering the labour market after her 40s.

She narrated that after losing her job in her 40s, she underwent many interviews to join various companies, but unfortunately, she got rejected due to being over qualified and her age.

“Also I tried to enter many courses to learn new things, but unfortunately I also got rejected for the same reasons, which was not logical for me,” Daif said in frustration.

She proclaimed that the feedback regarding her initiative was really good, pointing out that it witnessed the entrance of not only Egyptian women, but also Arab and European women.

By asking Daif why she chose this age specifically, she explained that women in their 40s and above always feel that life has ended for them and that they entered the last phase of life, as at that age women undergo many hormonal changes.

“Meanwhile, women see no support from any companies or institutions at that age, while many courses and workshops and even motivation rhetoric is directed at women in their 20s and 30s,” she announced.

Moreover, Daif believes that many women have started their careers after 40, giving the example for the famous American Fashion Designer, Vera Wang, who was the editor of Vogue magazine for a while before being promoted to a senior fashion editor. Then after her 40s, she thought to start her career in fashion design by opening bridal boutiques and soon launched her own signature collection. Now hugely popular, her designs are worn by famous Hollywood stars, and also designs lingerie, jewellery and home products.

Ultimately, Daif hopes for ‘Hawa After 40’ to grow increasingly more, and to stage its events across all countries in the world, and to support as many women as it can.

  

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Women’s Day: females’ right to live independently in Egypt https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/10/womens-day-females-right-to-live-independently-in-egypt/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/10/womens-day-females-right-to-live-independently-in-egypt/#respond Sun, 10 Mar 2019 14:34:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692432 "They said sorry we do not rent for women, only families,": independent women say

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Globally, women of different ages, cultures, and struggles marked International Women Day (IWD) on Friday, 8 March, as most of them are still confronting increasingly more limitations and hardships regarding their essential rights.

In Egypt, women often resist ongoing challenges including the right to live alone and independently away from their families. Young independent women, single mothers, and divorcees or widows choose or are compelled to live without, what is largely seen, as the social protection of men. In response, society hounds them and exploits them for living alone peacefully.

English writer Virginia Woolf once said, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”  Similarly, hundreds of women decided to enjoy an independent life with all its obstacles. Most of them moved to Cairo looking for better opportunities, good salaries, or simply running from daily pressures inside their parents’ homes, restrictions and interference or sometimes domestic or sexual violence.

The 25 January Revolution in 2011 brought dreams of freedom and independence. Egyptian women largely participated in demonstrations and marches calling for freedom, bread, and social justice. Since then, women increasingly moved to the capital city chasing their dreams away from remote and stagnant governates, taking on their entire personal responsibilities upon their own shoulders. 

However, the journey to rent houses and rooms in tough Cairo has never been easy, especially in a society that does accept the concept of women living separately from their families.

There are no available numbers or statistics about women living alone in Egypt. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics on the IWD, the number of females in Egypt reached 47.5 million compared to 50.5 million males in January 2019.

Only families

Noha, a 35-year-old mother for two, could not easily find an apartment to rent. “They refused to rent me a house because I am a divorced woman, and if they agreed, they warned me from hosting men,” Noha told Daily News Egypt (DNE).

The young translator added that when she finally found a flat, her landlady knocked on her door after midnight when she noticed a man visiting her. “He was my father who passed by to visit me and the children. We suddenly found her violently knocking on the door and inquiring about the man in my apartment,” Noha recalled.

Meanwhile, Dalia, a young journalist further reported facing the same restrictions. She noted that landlords and brokers refused to allow her to rent when they knew that she is an expat working in Cairo. “They said, sorry. We prefer families.”

Police at the doors

Safaa, who left her hometown six years ago, has never thought that she could face such a situation when she and her flatmates unexpectedly found a police officer at their door at dawn inquiring about the existence of a ‘female thief,’ in their house.

The 28-year-old reporter recalled her fear as they refused to open the door for him. “The porter, who used to bother us because we were the only girls’ apartment in the block, guided the police to find their wanted girl in our apartment,” Safaa told DNE.

Furthermore, Safaa added that the issue was solved when their old neighbour offered to search for the girl instead of the police officer and then he told him he did not find her.

Safaa had moved to Cairo after she got hired in a prominent newspaper. In order to make such a decision, she went through hardships with her family who refused to let her go. However, Safaa said, she was lucky that they did not use violence against her.

“Of course, they tried to prevent me from leaving through pressuring me to withdraw my decision, but eventually, I did what I want,” Safaa noted.

“I believe that everyone has the right to have their own independent life and house. We are not supposed to continue to live with our families under their protection. We have to take responsibility for our lives,” Safaa pointed out.   

During her first months in Cairo, Safaa had to live in a lower-scale neighbourhood, where it was hard for a young woman to live alone. She was compelled to this choice because renting in such areas was cheaper and suitable for her economic condition.

“The experience was horrific. The porter was very intrusive. He was searching in girls’ garbage to find something that would cause trouble. Before I moved, he found cigarettes in the girls’ rubbish bags. Do you imagine, he was looking into girls’ garbage bags,” Safaa wondered?

Meanwhile, Safaa also faced risks of sexual harassment in that area. “I really did not wear makeup at the time. I was a very young veiled woman, but this never stopped the harassment,” Safaa noted.

However, Safaa acknowledged that she never regretted living alone. But sometimes she felt how hard it is to continue. “Yes, there are times I felt I was not safe. I lived with flatmates who hosted men we didn’t know or trust without even informing us. This was a huge violation of our safety and privacy,” she concluded.

“Has no excuses”    

Regardless of the challenges facing expat women, Cairo residents confront more difficulties if they decide to leave their family homes, especially that in the eyes of landlords, they have no excuses to live away from their families.

Nada decided to leave her parent’s house in Dokki to rent a private apartment in a lower-scale neighbourhood in Faisal in 2016. However, she returned to her family home two months ago.

The 35-year-old marketing manager walked around the Faisal neighbourhood to ask residents about possible rented flats. “I did not turn to brokers because they take advantage of independent women. It is as if, if you want your freedom, then you’re forced to pay for it. This means two or three times of their supposed commission,” Nada said.

Moreover, Nada noted that one time a landlady inquired about her virginity. “I answered her that here is my national ID and yes I am a virgin and I did not get married before,” Nada pointed out. Additionally, Nada noted that when the landlady insisted for a guarantee, she replied ironically that she could be subjected to a medical virginity examination if she wants.

Another time, Nada said that a landlord offered her a studio on a roof, but he said he would keep the keys of the roof. “I did not accept,” she said.

After a while, Nada settled in an apartment in a family building where she spent more than two years. “Of course, she set her rules. No men visitors,” Nada noted.

But it was not limited to this condition. The landlady tried to interfere into Nada’s personal life, by offering unwarranted comment about her outfits. “I was an unveiled woman, so she kept commenting on my clothes especially during Ramadan. But I stopped her,” Nada elaborated.

In the neighbourhood, Nada noted that people were very curious about the nature of her work. “I was working in civil society, so I had to travel a lot and spent days outside my apartment, and this increased their curiosity and interference,” Nada noted.

In the end, she could not bear to live in this kind of neighbourhood, where she said, people watched all her movements. Nada returned to her family home until the economic conditions improved and she could rent a flat in a better neighbourhood.

“Rent before food”

Fortunately, Hadeer did not face major challenges in her independent life inside Cairo. But it was not devoid of inconveniences. “I was not the one responsible for searching for apartments, as most of the times I rented directly from other flatmates,” Hadeer pointed out.

However, she recalled that one time a male neighbour yelled at her in the building when he saw her male colleague entering her flat. “I invited a trusted colleague because I did not want to be alone with the carpenters who were installing items of furniture inside,” Hadeer noted. 

“The neighbour did that because we were women living alone. He was interfering in our personal affairs because we were the only rented apartment in the building. All other residents were families, so we were under the spotlight,” Hadeer added.

In order to save costs, Hadeer lived in flats which lacked essential facilities such as washing machines and an internet connection. The 29-old-year photojournalist had to spend most of her days in cafes to finish her work. “Even inside cafes, there was sexual harassment.” 

Hadeer said that paying the rent was more important than food. “I might not eat, but I had to pay rent. Sometimes I had to borrow my rent when I got fired from my work. It was not easy, but I survived.”

All names of the women in this report have been changed upon their request.

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Egyptian Females reach 47.5 million: CAPMAS on International Women’s Day https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/egyptian-females-reach-47-5-million-capmas-on-international-womens-day/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/egyptian-females-reach-47-5-million-capmas-on-international-womens-day/#respond Sat, 09 Mar 2019 18:44:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692378 Programme of solidarity, dignity benefited 89% of women, says Ministry of Planning

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The Central Agency for Public for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued a report on Thursday, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, stating that the number of females in Egypt reached 47.5 million compared to males, who are 50.5 million in January 2019.

International Woman’s Day is celebrated annually on 8 march, praising women’s role in society.

The CAPMAS added that at the national level, the number of marriage contracts decreased to 887,315 in 2018 compared to 912,606 in 2017, while divorce rates increased to 211,521 in 2018, compared to 198,269 in 2017.

It added that according to a report from the labour force in 2018, females contribute to the labour force with less than a quarter to record 20.9%, with males representing 79.1% of the labour force.

Meanwhile, the rate of unemployed females is 21.4%, compared to 6.8% for males.

The report added that the rate of females participating in the social insurance system is 72.0%,

compared to 43.2% for males, while the rate of females participating in health insurance is 69.4% compared to 36.6% for males.

Moreover, it added that women received eight ministerial portfolios representing 24% of the cabinet, and the number of female judges reached 66 judges out of a total number of judges which is 9,694.

The CAPMAS report said that the rate of women represented at the diplomatic and consular corps is 24.8%, additionally the rate of females chief editors in national newspapers reached 18%, while they reached 12.5% of national newspapers board members and represent 7.7% of members of the National Press Authority.

The ministry of planning has issued an infographic showing that in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2018/19 in sustainable development goals regarding eradicating poverty, 89% of the women benefited from the programme of solidarity and dignity.

It added that the programme helped in funding 58,300 projects for women through the Project Development Authority.

Furthermore, it added that the aim of good education included registering of 11.7 million female students, and 66,000 benefited from awareness programmes regarding the risks of dropping out.

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Shell Egypt highlights success stories of Egyptian women on International Women’s Day https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/shell-egypt-highlights-success-stories-of-egyptian-women-on-international-womens-day/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/shell-egypt-highlights-success-stories-of-egyptian-women-on-international-womens-day/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:00:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692119 Shell Egypt announced the completion of its campaign entitled ‘Driven by Passion,’ which aims to support female role models and highlight their successes. This comes in parallel with the International Women’s Day, and the company’s belief in the important role women play in the energy industry and in the society as a whole. Launched in …

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Shell Egypt announced the completion of its campaign entitled ‘Driven by Passion,’ which aims to support female role models and highlight their successes. This comes in parallel with the International Women’s Day, and the company’s belief in the important role women play in the energy industry and in the society as a whole.

Launched in 2018, Driven by Passion is a national campaign that was mainly focused on Shell Egypt’s sponsorship of the Egyptian rally driver, Yara Shalabi, who has been recognised as a national symbol of successful women seeking to achieve their goals no matter what it takes.

This year, Shell Egypt also kicked off an online campaign on social media platforms shedding light on successful stories led by a number of women in various fields, including entrepreneurship, sports and media, with the aim to motivate and inspire.

Shell believes that the role of women in the energy industry is extremely important and the company has continuously been featured in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. In 2015, Shell was the only oil and gas company listed. Diversity and inclusion are a central part of the organisation at all levels, from entry-level employees to senior management. Creating better development opportunities and a positive work environment for women is a core part of this.

For his part, Saher Hashim, the managing director of Shell Lubricants Egypt, stated: “International Women’s Day is a window of hope to showcase all female role models who have exerted extraordinary efforts and achieved success globally, contributing significantly to building and advancing the communities where they excel”, adding that, “We at Shell Egypt are implementing our global values of creating opportunities for balanced learning and development opportunities for all our employees. Women occupy more than 25% of positions in various departments, including executive roles.”

Yara Shalabi stated: “I am proud to be part of Shell’s campaign to highlight the efforts of women as key players in Egyptian society. This campaign has provided a new platform to raise a number of interesting topics to the Egyptian women showcasing their inspirational stories.”

Shalabi added: “I am grateful to Shell for their continuous empowerment and support, and I hope it motivates Egyptian women further to reach the extra mile.”

Shell lubricants announced its sponsorship of Yara Shalabi, the first Egyptian woman to compete in a rally, and one of the top 10 worldwide rally drivers.

Yara Shalabi is a banker by trade and is also a mother of an eight-year-old child. At the beginning of her career, she competed in the Egyptian Pharaohs Rally in the Eastern Desert. In her second race, Shalabi came in second place amongst 12 racers in a rally in the Western Sahara. She is now one of the most prominent competitors in this type of race, and has achieved a large number of advanced recognitions throughout her career.

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IFC targets to reach 50% women participation on its board within 3 to 5 years https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/ifc-targets-to-reach-50-women-participation-on-its-board-within-3-to-5-years/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/ifc-targets-to-reach-50-women-participation-on-its-board-within-3-to-5-years/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 09:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692134 IFC, partners ring bell for women's empowerment in Egypt

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, targets to increase women’s participation on its board globally to hit 50% within the next three to five years, Yehia El Husseiny, a corporate governance projects manager in the Middle East and North Africa at the IFC told Daily News Egypt.

He explained that now the representation of women on the IFC onboard is 35%.

Notably, the IFC, the Egyptian Exchange, UN Women, the Global Compact Network in Egypt, and the Egyptian Institute of Directors, hosted a conference on Monday to promote gender equality and increase women’s participation in Egypt’s economy.

The event, ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’, brought together business leaders, investors, government officials, civil society members, and other key partners to highlight the business case for gender equality. The IFC and partner organisations rang the opening bell at the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). 

Subsequently, speeches and a round-table discussion followed discussing the importance of women in Egypt’s economy. The event aimed to raise awareness around the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

Mohamed Farid, the chairperson of the EGX, said, “Empowering women is key to achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development, and we are committed to supporting women and enhancing their role in various political, economic, and social spheres.” He added that female representation on the boards of listed companies increased to 10.2% in 2018, up from 9.6% in 2017.

The event also showcased the findings of a new IFC report which revealed that Egyptian companies with gender-diverse boards outperformed those with all-male boards.

“Women bring valuable expertise and important perspectives to companies, and their impact on the bottom line is undeniable,” said Walid Labadi, the IFC country manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen. “It is time for more companies in Egypt to recognise that,” he stressed.

Last year, a record 65 exchanges rang their bells for gender equality. Currently in its fifth iteration, a global collaboration across 66 stock exchanges worldwide plan to ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, on Friday, 8 March 2019. 

The event is part of the IFC’s corporate governance programme in the Middle East and North Africa, which aims to help local firms operate more efficiently and improve access to capital. The programme is supported by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.  

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International Women’s Day: where does Egypt stand in terms of women’s economic empowerment? https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/international-womens-day-where-does-egypt-stand-in-terms-of-womens-economic-empowerment/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/international-womens-day-where-does-egypt-stand-in-terms-of-womens-economic-empowerment/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 08:00:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692131 Friday 8 March marks the International Women’s Day 2019, while several government officials, parliamentarians, and UN women personnel assembled to ring the stock exchange bell to raise awareness on the importance of women’s economic empowerment. The first International Women’s Day to be officially recognized was back in 1911, and 2019 marks the 107th annual celebration. …

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Friday 8 March marks the International Women’s Day 2019, while several government officials, parliamentarians, and UN women personnel assembled to ring the stock exchange bell to raise awareness on the importance of women’s economic empowerment.

The first International Women’s Day to be officially recognized was back in 1911, and 2019 marks the 107th annual celebration.

The theme for 2019 is ‘#BalanceforBetter’, and it aims to establish a more gender-balanced world.

Notably, equality is not only a gender issue, it is also a business one. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, a gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, and a gender-balanced sports coverage, etc.

Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive. According to the latest report of the World Economic Forum on the gender gap, improving the gender parity by 25% would increase the global GDP by $5.3tn.

Meanwhile, the same report also stated that it will take around 100 years to globally close the gender gap. As for the Middle East and North Africa, the gender gap can be closed in 157 years.

Thus, this took Daily News Egypt (DNE) to dig further into where Egypt stands in terms of the Egyptian women’s economic empowerment through digging into two new research studies about women on boards and women’s economic empowerment, which were both announced days ago.

DNE focused on this topic, as according to the IFC’s study, Egypt’s GDP could increase by 35% through achieving gender equality.

Women’s labour force participation

When digging into the economic empowerment of women, we should start by the indicators of women’s participation in the labour force.

Egypt Vision 2030 targets raising women’s participation rate in the labour market to 35% by 2020, and to 40% by 2030, according to the Minister of Planning, Hala Al-Saeed.

“On the other hand, Egyptian women are not engaged as equal agents of value creation in the Egyptian economy, and are subsequently not involved in determining the direction of and means by which value is created for the Egyptian economy at large,” Maya Morsi, the president of the National Council For Women (NCW), stated on Sunday during presenting the results of the study conducted by the World Bank in collaboration with the NCW entitled ‘Women Economic Empowerment’.

According to the study, a range of factors globally affect women’s working conditions, yet two interrelated factors stand out. First is the division of labour by gender, indicated by occupational segregation and wage differentials, precipitates the inequalities that women face in the labour market. While the second is the socio-cultural norms and stereotypes which shape gender roles that identify women with restrictive characteristics and capabilities in the labour market.

“The labour force in Egypt was estimated at 28.9 million in 2016, with females representing 24.2% of the total labour force. The labour force residing in rural areas is higher than that in urban areas (16.6 million and 12.3 million, respectively). The percentage of females is slightly higher in urban areas, at 24.9%, than in rural areas, at 23.7%,” Morsi declared.

Moreover, the report found that young females’ participation rate in the labour force varies according to marital status, educational level, wealth and residence, explaining that single females who have never been married who completed their education are twice as likely to participate in the labour force (25%), than married females who represent 12%. Moreover, the labour force participation for young females increases with education, as the rate among university and post-secondary institute graduates is nearly four times that of females with only secondary education or below. The data also indicates that household wealth is directly related to young female labour force participation

Noteworthy, higher labour force participation was found among young females living in urban governorates with 29%.

For her part, the UN Women Country Representative in Egypt, Blerta Aliko, informed DNE that there is a need and a demand to increase women’s participation in the labour force in general, whether in the formal or informal sectors, as well as in the private and public sectors.

“We saw that the level of Egyptian women’s education and qualifications are equal, and on par with men’s, but their opportunities in accessing employment opportunities are much lower than them,” according to Aliko.

Female employment

“The number of employed females increased from nearly 23.8 million to 25.4 million between 2010 and 2016, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of 1%. The growth was three times higher among females than among males (2.26% and 0.73%, respectively). This increase improved the distorted male/female balance, as the percentage of female employees increased from 19.6% in 2010 to 21.1% in 2016,” according to the report.

The analysis showed that a woman’s age, her education, and her mother’s employment status are the main determinants of female labour force participation in Egypt. But when a woman is in the labour force, different factors determine whether she is employed and if she is employed in the private sector, noting that also the reproductive behaviour may have an impact on female employment as well.

Women on board

The female share of employment in managerial positions is a good indicator to benchmark women’s economic empowerment. In 2016, the number of women in management positions as a percentage of employment in Egypt was only 7.1%, according to Morsi.

Meanwhile, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member, conducted a new study on the importance of having women on managerial boards in Egypt. The analysis focused on two main groups of companies, the first one was the privately held companies, while the second one was the publicly listed companies, noting that the group of privately held companies was further divided to compare between firms without a gender-diverse workforce and those with an employee mix that is at least 25% female. The publicly listed category included companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange as well as the Nile Stock exchange for small and medium enterprises (NILEX).

The study revealed that an average 47% of companies in Egypt have female board members, and women represent 14% of all board members.

Furthermore, “39% of firms have one or two female board members, and 8% have three or more, meanwhile the average board size is 6.1 members (6.7 for companies with women on boards and 5.6 for companies with all male boards),” the report stated.

Notably, the percentage of women representation as a total percentage of board members represent 17%, 20%, 10%, 2% at the global level, in developed markets, emerging markets, and the Middle East, respectively.

In terms of the listed companies, 45% of them have women on board, in which women represent 10% of all the board members.

On the other hand, 57% of private companies have women on board, in which women represent 19% of all the board members.

Concerning the female business owners and senior executives, the report stated that 16.1% of firms have female ownership, while 7.1% represent the female senior executives in Egypt.

The study found that gender-diverse companies had higher profitability, less debt, improved governance policies, and a better employee retention rate than those run by men alone. They also showed a 2% higher growth in the return on equity, 4% higher growth in the return on assets, and 5% higher growth in return on sales. Despite that, women hold only 14% of all board seats in Egypt.

Importance of women’s economic empowerment

Women represent nearly half of Egypt’s college graduates, however only 23% of women participate in the labour force, which means that there is about 27% of the women graduates do not enter the workforce,” the report explained.

“And very few reach the upper echelons of the corporate world,” the report continued.

The study found that gender diverse boards lead to stronger companies’ financial performance, which will subsequently boost the economic growth in Egypt.

Notably, improving the gender parity globally by 25% would increase the global GDP by $5.3tn, while women contribute only by 39.35% of the global labour force, according to World Economic Forum’s report on gender gap in 2017.

Concerning Egypt, the IFC stated that the GDP could increase by 35% through achieving gender equality.

On the other hand, Egyptian women are still paid less than men for equal work, the gender wage gap currently stands at 22%, the study further showed.

Finally, Egypt has made a lot in terms of the gender equality and empowering women, but it still needs to do more. Hopefully, we hope when writing during the same time next year, that the gender gap would be closed by that time, not just in Egypt, but all over the world.

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Female entrepreneurship once a dream, now phenomenon  https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/02/female-entrepreneurship-once-a-dream-now-phenomenon/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/02/female-entrepreneurship-once-a-dream-now-phenomenon/#respond Sat, 02 Mar 2019 11:00:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=691559 A lot of women entrepreneurs think that obtaining an investment for their project or turning their project into a business, is a way of turning their dreams into a reality. To become inspired and encouraged, some women entrepreneurs either prefer to listen to an inspirational talk from someone who overcame many obstacles to reach national …

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A lot of women entrepreneurs think that obtaining an investment for their project or turning their project into a business, is a way of turning their dreams into a reality.

To become inspired and encouraged, some women entrepreneurs either prefer to listen to an inspirational talk from someone who overcame many obstacles to reach national and global success, other prefer to network with business incubators, while the rest of them prefer to watch the warriors, who are struggling to keep their projects running. 

At the She Can event 2019, women entrepreneurs will be given a chance to witness all of these.

She Can is an annual event which takes place for the third time this year in Egypt, kicking off on 8 March. It is one of the biggest women entrepreneurship events. It is founded by Entreprenelle, a social development and a business impact organisation, which aims to empower local women economically by educating, training, and linking them to the different entrepreneurial resources

Accordingly, Daily News Egypt interviewed Rania Ayman, the founder and managing director of Entreprenelle, in order to learn more about the She Can event and Entreprenelle. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How did the idea of ‘She Can’ originate?

It started when I launched Entreprenelle with the objective of helping women start their own business. I discovered a lack of awareness among women who wanted to see realistic examples around them which they can relate to, in order to get inspired to start their own projects and businesses. 


What is the difference between the first and the last She Can events?

The first event was a small one attended by 150 people only and was limited to hosting talks. Last event witnessed around 2,500 attendees who were able to attend talks, workshops, and it also included training, coaching, and mentoring sessions, as well as an exhibition of some the participating start-ups. The growth rate witnessed was around 150-200%. This year, we are expecting around 5,000 attendees.

What is unique about this year’s edition?

This year, I think we will focus on highlighting the different challenges and hurdles faced by the start-ups through having a different theme this year which is ‘Successful Failures’.

We chose this theme as we realised that when we only focus on the success stories, women think that the road was easy for those successful examples, so we decided to make this year’s theme different to let them know the obstacles which the entrepreneurs faced, and how they were able to overcome them.

What is the goal that She Can aims to achieve? 

Let me talk first about the main goals of Entreprenelle, as She Can comes under its umbrella. The goal for Entreprenelle is to spread awareness between women through launching different events such as She Can in order to make the women further understand entrepreneurship.

In addition to the above, we aim to educate women on business purposes through launching different workshops in six different areas, in all the fields that women are interested to work in including, tourism, health care, and handicrafts.

Then, we help them by providing accessibility to the resources, incubators, and support for the economic empowerment of women.

As for She Can’s main objective, it is mainly to economically empower women and support them in their businesses, and to ensure that they understand, through the different success stories, that it is not a problem for them to start their own business, in addition to networking with different incubators.

How many participants/speakers are expected to attend this year’s event? how many panels and workshops will be held?

We have around 5,000 participants with many partners offering various types of services. We also have a diversified set of speakers, celebrities, influencers, women entrepreneurs, decision makers, and stakeholders in addition to ministers, all with different backgrounds, participating in She Can 2019. We were focusing on having most of the speakers from the MENA region as well as local speakers.

What is the average age for the participating women entrepreneurs?

I think the average participating age is from 18 to 30 years old. Meanwhile, 25% of the attendees are from outside Cairo, as we try to work more with the under-privileged areas. Accordingly, we are trying to attract attendees from all the governorates. We even offer discounts for these under-privileged areas as we believe that we need to support women everywhere. 

Does She Can provide financial assistance for female-owned projects? If yes, how many start-ups did you assist?

We help women during the incubation stage, which are the very early stages of entrepreneurship. We connect women with resources and introduce them to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

We have managed to secure funding for a lot of the start-ups whether directly or indirectly, that was injected in the start-ups coming out of Entreprenelle. We usually have one cycle per month, with each cycle containing around 30 start-ups. The start-ups that did not get investments were introduced to several opportunities, with access to the market and the necessary resources.

To what extent did the government and concerned bodies help in launching this event? 

They helped to a great extent. We have been investing in Entreprenelle for three years now, and we currently have powerful partners such as the UN Women, and the National council for Women, as well as several ministers, all supporting us because they believe in our cause. That stems from them witnessing the true impact of She Can.

What are the obstacles facing women entrepreneurs in Egypt and the MENA? 

The main obstacle facing the Egyptian women lies in their self-doubt. The resources are there, but unfortunately women are unable to be convinced of that fact. We believe that women should support and stand for each other, but sometimes we find that women are the ones who can discourage each other, which is our main challenge at the moment. 

Do you think that the government is now more focused on the economic empowerment of women? 

Yes, because they believe in the value of what we are doing. Statistics have shown that the Egyptian economy is going to improve by 34% in case women become engaged in the economic process. That is why all governments including the Egyptian government are trying to integrate women, and invest in empowering them.

How do you evaluate the success of women entrepreneurs nowadays?

 

We measure the success by how satisfied women are about themselves, even if they do not have an extremely successful business. If they have a charitable organisation and this is good enough for them, then we consider this as a success story. We measure success based on the standards which every single woman puts to herself.

Throughout your journey with Entreprenlle, what fields do women entrepreneurs prefer to launch their projects in?

I think that they prefer to launch their projects in advertising, fashion, and textiles, in addition to handicrafts, upcycling and recycling, as well as tourism and house care, thus we always provide our education programme on these six axes.  

I am curious to ask you about the origin of Entreprenelle, how did the idea originate?

I joined an initiative created by Startup Grind. During one of the events, the percentage of female attendees was very low. This is where I discovered the lack of women involvement in the eco-system. Therefore, I decided to create Entreprenelle, initially as an online platform. My on-growing passion to Entreprenelle lead me to exit the agency I founded, to work whole-heartedly on Entreprenelle. Helping other women is my inspiration, this is why I wanted to work more on a cause, rather than do it for the money or profits.

In your opinion, how can Entreprenelle or She Can help entrepreneurs overcome the obstacles they face?

Entreprenelle hosts entrepreneurship programmes, incorporating the gender factor, as an example, we provide a kids’ area for moms and we teach them time management, in order to balance between pursuing her passion and taking care of her family. In addition to creating a supporting network for women which allows them to leverage on all resources.  

Finally, what are your aspirations?

To become the platform/hub for all women who want to have their own business but are facing obstacles while trying to do that. We want to create a snowball effect where women would learn how to overcome any challenges that they face in order to start their own business, and also to learn how to teach other women to do the same. 

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SHE CAN kicks off on 8 March https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/22/she-can-kicks-off-on-8-march/ https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/02/22/she-can-kicks-off-on-8-march/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:30:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690757 SHE CAN, a female entrepreneurship event in the MENA region, is kicking off its 3rd edition on 8 March at the Greek Campus in Downtown Cairo. This year, the conference’s theme will be ‘Successful failures’, which focuses on highlighting the different challenges and hurdles faced by the startups. Throughout the whole day, empirical cases will …

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SHE CAN, a female entrepreneurship event in the MENA region, is kicking off its 3rd edition on 8 March at the Greek Campus in Downtown Cairo.

This year, the conference’s theme will be ‘Successful failures’, which focuses on highlighting the different challenges and hurdles faced by the startups.

Throughout the whole day, empirical cases will be presented on how innovative thinking, alongside creativity, technology, and capital can turn failures into success stories.

The annual event hosted by Entreprenelle – a mission driven social enterprise- will feature talks by the Minister of Immigration, Nabila Makram, the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Wali, and the Minister of Planning, Follow-up, and Administrative Reform, Hala El Saeed.

This year, the speaker line-up features prominent figures from Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, as well as influential figures from the region such as: AbdelHamid Sharara, the founder of RiseUp, Radwa Hassan and Raghda El Sheemy, Radio 9090 presenters, as well as Manal El Alam, an Arab celebrity chef and investor. The event will host various panel discussions, workshops, mentorship sessions, pitch competition, and an exhibition of the participating startups in order to provide the attendees with insights on managing any grueling experiences.

“Over the past two years, our mission has been to support and empower women, through bringing together idea-focused activities, all aimed at fostering inspiration and provoking conversations that would motivate and educate the attendees on how to grow their professional and personal lives,” said Rania Ayman, the founder of Entreprenelle.

“However, the women entrepreneurship ecosystem is rapidly growing, which encouraged us to choose ‘Successful Failures’ theme in order to arm the ecosystem with learnings and techniques that will underpin their journey,” added Rania

Last year, the event was attended by over 2,500 people from different governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, and Mansoura. It brought around 40 community partners and featured talks, panels, and workshops that were delivered by over 30 speakers. 

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