Women – Daily News Egypt https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:57:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 FACE integrates homeless children into society https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/12/face-integrates-homeless-children-into-society/ Mon, 12 Aug 2019 19:41:12 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705000 Belgian woman tries to integrate abandoned, homeless children back into the society.

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When you wander in Egypt’s streets, you may notice some children sleeping on pavements or under bridges, or even begging for money from pedestrians. Those children are known as homeless children or street children. They are victims of different circumstances, like poverty, domestic violence, etc. They are deprived from basic human needs, since they have no family or relatives to turn to, living each day as if it is their last.

Homeless children have no hope for the future, as they are rejected by society, and are often subject to sexual harassment, arrest, organ trafficking, and more. Some of them are engaged in petty theft and prostitution.

Despite all the problems that they face in such difficult environment, they like living in the street as it offers them more freedom, therefore reintegrating them into the society became very difficult and requires a lot of efforts. That’s exactly what Flavia Shaw-Jackson tries to do; integrating abandoned and homeless children into the society. Jackson founded FACE for Children in Need in 2003, an organisation in Egypt to help abandoned and homeless children.

Born in South Africa, Jackson chose Cairo to launch her project, visiting Egypt once every month to follow up the activities of the project.

There are at least 12 million homeless people in Egypt, among them 3 million children, according to the Ministry of Social Solidarity. They are mainly based in Cairo, Giza, Qaliubiya, Alexandria, Menoufiya, Sharqeya, Suez, Beni Suef, Minya, and Assiut governorates.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Jackson to learn more about FACE, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How did you come up with the idea of FACE?

The idea came as I always adored children and I always hated seeing children suffering, then in 1999, I saw a film documenting some children in China who were dying in orphanages, which was really terrible. Hence, I decided to do something for these children, but unfortunately China was too far from me, also keep in mind that at that time I had my first child who was only one-and-a-half years old. So, I started helping children in Belgium. I fostered children that were being abused in Belgium.

Then, I felt like I was really pulled to Africa because I was born in South Africa and I felt that Africa is where my roots are, but it was also far for me, therefore I ended up thinking that I would like to go to Cairo to see how I could help and to be really efficient.

In 2003, I visited the country and I really fell in love with it and its people. I realised that there is a large number of homeless children here. So, I thought to partner with Egypt in order to improve the life conditions of those children.

Then, I launched FACE and registered it in the Ministry of Social Solidarity in 2004. FACE is working now with abandoned children, whether orphans or homeless.

How many projects does FACE have in Egypt?

We have six projects, one in Maadi, two in El Obour, one in Banha, and one in Al-Salam City. Five of them are for abandoned infants and orphans. We have a partnership with the Ministry of Health, where it brings abandoned infants to these centres.

I think what those infants really need is our love and protection, therefore we train our staff thoroughly, and we conduct a psychometric session with the children.

I believe that the physical touch for a baby is very important, so we massage them in order to build a bond between the carer and the child.

Our services also include medical support, as we partnered with Al-Salam hospital which give free medical support for our babies.

FACE’s services also include education, hygiene services, and legal support.

While the sixth centre, which is in Al-Salam city, is for homeless children. I think we are the first project in Egypt for street children. What we do is that we have two teams that work in Cairo’s streets to build trust with the children.

We don’t give anything to the children on street because if we give them money, clothes, or food, we are just making it easier for them to stay on streets. So, they have to enrol in our activities, including drawing and playing puzzles.

We teach them life skills and how to protect themselves in the streets. We believe that children have a lot of freedom in the street. They can get money, food, and drugs. So, we don’t push them to come to our centre, we just tell them that they can come whenever they want, and they actually come.

Once they arrive to our centre, we wash their clothes, offer them breakfast, as well as psychological and medical support.

Keeping in mind that the children live in the streets with no rules, so we have to make them understand that life has rules to respect. We tell them that the centre has rules, so if they made a mistake, they should be punished, but they will decide the type of punishment themselves. It helps them to respect the rules. That’s one step to come back into the society, as they have to learn that there are no rules on the street but if they come back into society, the first step is accepting that there are rules.

We also provide them with psychological and educational support, as we have a Child-friendly schools aim to develop a learning environment in which children are motivated and able to learn.

I want to mention that we have an agreement with the government, they accept our certificate, thus the children can return into the school system. That’s another step toward reintegrating them into the society.

We also do vocational training, and we work a lot with the children to get them back with their families which is very important for us, because 95% of street children have families, so we work not only with the children, but we also work with their families.

When can you say that a child was successfully reintegrated into his family?

We can only say that a child is successfully reintegrated into his family after spending one and a half years with them, and we are supervising this through our social workers who go to the family every month to see if everything’s going well, providing them with the psychological support.

We have a contract with very poor families which states that we will support them, however we don’t give them money, but we offer them required equipment or goods to start a business, on the condition that they promise that their child will go to the school.

How many children do you have in each project?

We have around 50 children in each project.

What are the conditions for accepting children in FACE’s projects?

There are no conditions, we accept all children, whatever their conditions, and the minister knows, I mean when they have difficult cases, they send them to FACE and they know that we would never refuse children.

From where do you get the funding for these shelters?

At the beginning, the project was self-funded. It was just my husband and I who were financing it, and then we asked friends to help us in the funding because it costs too much, then we started getting financial support from Egyptians, and now we have a businessperson who helps us. Also, the European Union gave us a fund.

Do you get donations from smaller donors?

No, we have been working here for many years on our projects, but we have not communicated with Egyptians about FACE itself, so normal citizens don’t know us well, while ministers, NGOs, etc, all know about FACE and we have a very good reputation among them.

Do you think that you need to promote FACE?

Yes, we have to do that, that’s where we need help now. I want to mention that my idea is that FACE must be 100% Egyptian, so we have 190 employees, where 100% are Egyptians today.

That’s because my idea is that one day, I will be able to go back to Belgium and it will be completely Egyptian and they will not need me anymore.

What is FACE’s expansion plan in Egypt?

I personally believe that orphanages are not the right place for children to grow up in. We do have our high-quality orphanages, but we are working with Minister Ghada Waly on closing these orphanages and integrating the children into families.

In your opinion, what are the reasons behind having a large number of homeless children in Egypt?

I think this is due to broken families, abuse and violence within the family, and poverty. When families have financial problems, they can’t even secure food for their children, so the children have to go out to work.

What are the challenges that still hinder NGOs work in Egypt?

The main problem we face is the red tape, but we get a lot of support from the Minister of Social Solidarity, I was impressed by how much she supports us.

How do you see the new NGOs Law in Egypt?

I think it was in need to be updated and nowadays they are modifying quite a few things, as it was complicated for the NGOS. But they are trying now to make it more flexible, so I think they are moving now in the right track.

What is your aspiration?

I hope to close all orphanages and put children in foster families.

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Misr El kheir empowered 2,500 female breadwinners through providing projects https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/02/misr-el-kheir-empowered-2500-female-breadwinners-through-providing-projects/ Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704199 Foundation helped 65,000 indebted female, male inmates, mostly women since establishment

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Misr El Kheir empowered 2,500 female breadwinners either indebted or not across the governorates of Egypt, since its establishment in 2017, through setting up projects for them, according to Fundraising Sector Director, Misr El Kheir Foundation, Amal Mobada.

She explained that the in debtors file topped the priorities of the foundation, as this file is considered important not only in the preservation of the entire family, but also for the development of the society.

In that regard, she stated that Misr El Kheir helped and paid for the release of more than 68,000 indebted female and male inmates since the establishment of Misr El Kheir in 2007, mostly women.

In that context, Mobada revealed that the foundation annually targets to help release about 10,000 or 15,000 female and male indebtors in prison, who are victimised by the circumstances.

Mobada explained that the foundation role begins by following up on the cases of the female indebtors until they leave prison after the foundation negotiates with the creditors and pays the full debt owed to them.

“Our role does not end when the indebted female is out of prison, but out role extends to offering physical and social protection by providing income to the female indebtor’s family,” she continued.

“We have two types of female indebtors, the first type is the female indebtor that couldn’t work due to having a serious disease, thus the foundation provides financial support for them on a monthly basis, in order for them to be able to meet their needs, in addition to benefiting their families from all the programmes of the foundation in the fields of education, health, and social solidarity, ” she said.

“Meanwhile, the second type the female indebtors that could work, here we provide them job opportunities according to the social conditions and the family’s environment. Some of them are trained in crafts and subsequently join the factories of the foundation for hand carpets in Abys in Alexandria,” she stated.

Mobada mentioned that Misr El Kheir came to the village of Abyss seven years ago to help its people, where the foundation helped and released 174 female indebtors, after that the foundation thought about setting up projects to provide them with a constant income for the family so as not to borrow again.

Fundraising Sector Director, Misr El Kheir Foundation, Amal Mobada.

“Thus, we inaugurated our first factory for hand carpets in Abyss then we continued to set up factories, where we currently reached four factories for hand carpets,” she said.

By asking Mobada, if Misr El Kheir sets specific conditions for agreeing to help women indebtors or if there is a maximum amount of money that it pays to release indebtors in prison, she stated that there is no maximum amount, explaining that it depends on the case itself, while talking about the conditions she stated that the indebtor should have a sentence against them, noting that the foundation conducts a field research about the case to ensure the validity of the case, also by asking their neighbours ,etc.

“We also have cooperation protocols with all prisons across all governorates to notify us regularly about the needy cases in prison who are in debt,” she added.

Mobada assured that the file of the imprisoned indebtors is one of the top priorities in Misr El Kheir, noting that most of the donors prefer to pay donations in this file as it is a clear command of the commands of Almsgiving.

She said that the priority of Misr El Khier is not to provide money for needy cases but to develop their skills.

In that context, she stated that the foundation has succeeded in completing the first phase of its plan to empower women and indebted females by encouraging them to develop their skills and produce more products in their regions, in six governorates so far, including Cairo, Giza, Sohag, Alexandria, north Sinai, and south Sinai, as the foundation opened outlets to market women`s products in these governorates.

“The second stage, which includes Nubia in Aswan, Siwa in Matruh and Shalatin, will be completed before the end of this year, where the foundation will also open outlets to market women’s products in the aforementioned governorates,” Mobada revealed.

She explained that at the beginning the foundation has set up small projects for the female indebtors then after some of them were integrated and happy with these small projects, the foundation decided to make a consolidated project under the management of the foundation, highlighting that the establishment of the first factory was four years ago in the village of Abyss in Alexandria, then the number increased reaching the current four operating factories, and, in addition, this year witnessed the laying for the stone of the fifth factory, that is expected to provide 5,000 jobs.

Mobada stated proudly that through these factories the foundation exports handmade carpets to America, Canada, Italy, and the UAE.

Moreover, Mobada shared that the foundation has 175 projects in several areas, including health, social solidarity, education, scientific research, and other life aspects such as culture and sports, in addition to providing support for people with special needs.

She mentioned that the foundation is currently working with its partners, either individuals or companies, on the project of “Sak Al Odohaya,” which means the sacrifice or slaughter of an animal on specific days for the pleasure of Allah.

Mobada explained that the project this year targets to distribute 30,000 “Sak”, declaring that the price of the Sak this year is EGP 3,300 for the purchase of 27 kilos which represents the seventh of the sacrifice.

She stressed that the foundation succeeded the previous year in distributing 28,000 Sak.

Meanwhile, Mobada pointed out that the foundations’ winter campaigns have repaired 3,720 houses, across all Egypt`s governorates since its establishment.

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After appointing new female judge, will Egypt see more women in courts? https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/18/after-appointing-new-female-judge-will-egypt-see-more-women-in-courts/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 20:24:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703068 However, Qandil is not really the first female judge in Egypt’s criminal courts. She was preceded by judge Sally Al-Saidi, who was part of several judicial panels in criminal and misdemeanour courts in 2009. She ruled on 95 criminal cases that year

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Several media outlets recently reported that Fatima Qandil became the first female judge to join a judicial panel of an Egyptian criminal court.

The court was trying a case about stock market manipulation. The judicial panel was led by Mohamed El-Feki and included Mahmoud Rashdan, Abdullah Salam, and Usama Aboushaisha, alongside Qandil. Several individuals from the Mubarak regime are suspects in this case, including the former president’s sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, in addition to seven others.

However, Qandil is not really the first female judge in Egypt’s criminal courts. She was preceded by judge Sally Al-Saidi, who was part of several judicial panels in criminal and misdemeanour courts in 2009. She ruled on 95 criminal cases that year.

Al-Saidi was one of 68 female judges appointed in Egypt’s ordinary courts. She then became a member of the Cairo Juvenile Court in 2009, and later a member of the Cairo Criminal Court.

In 2013, Al-Saidi was appointed as a member of the technical bureau of the Court of Cassation (Criminal Division).

Notably, the role of the technical bureau is to conduct legal research and studies, but this would not give her the authority to try or rule on cases.

The question is: will the media interest of the presence of a female judge, Qandil, in law courts pave the way for more females to be part of the big scene in the Egyptian judiciary?

Before 2003, both the Administrative Prosecution Authority and the State Lawsuits Authority have appointed women in their offices, but no women were allowed in the Egyptian courts.

In 2003, judge Tehani Al-Gebali was the first woman to join the Supreme Constitutional Court by a presidential decree. This was followed by the appointment of 42 female judges to the ordinary courts from 2007 to 2008.

In June 2015, the Ministry of Justice announced the appointment of a new batch of 26 female judges to the ordinary courts. Unfortunately, the government did not take further steps to increase the number of women in the judiciary since then.

Sally Al-Saidi

Are female judges banned from Egyptian judiciary?

The Egyptian judicial system is divided into three branches: ordinary courts, which are entitled to try civil, economic, and criminal cases, administrative courts, which adjudicates disputes involving government actions (and sometimes inaction) and disciplinary actions involving government employees, and the Supreme Constitutional Court, which rules on constitutional matters.

According to the Egyptian constitution, the law graduates can apply to join the administrative prosecution authority, public prosecution, the State Council, and the military prosecution, Omnia Gadallah, founder of “Her Honor Setting the Bar” support campaign of female law graduates, told Daily News Egypt.

Gadallah has filed a lawsuit against the State Council for refusing to enrol women in the body. 

She explained that both administrative prosecution and Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority are judicial bodies, however, the work nature of their members is different than normal judges, as they do not rule on cases.

Even though, women are allowed to enter both. They currently account for 43% of the administrative prosecution members, and represent about 28% of the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority.

Meanwhile, the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court are selected from the best judges in the ordinary courts, the State Council, and the military prosecution. However, no women allowed in the military prosecution.

“The female law graduates have two options; either to apply in the public prosecution to enter an ordinary court, which is difficult as the public prosecution continues to reject women, or to apply in the State Council to enter an administrative court, which is also rejecting female applicants. This means that the ban on female judges continues,” Gadallah said.

In 2009, Egypt’s State Council agreed unanimously to appoint male and female law graduates from the academic years 2008 and 2009.

However, in February 2010, a special committee of the State Council’s general assembly convened and voted against appointing female judges, with an overwhelming majority of 334 against 42 votes.

Therefore, when the public prosecution announced the recruitment of a new batch in 2010, only males could apply.

So, when Gadallah filed a lawsuit against the State Council, this brought the issue of female judge ban to light again and this case is still ongoing until now.

Exclusion of female judges violates constitution

Gadallah told DNE that the exclusion of women clearly violates the constitutional principle of equality, citing some articles in the 2014 Constitution, mainly Article 9. It prescribes that the state is committed to achieving equality among all citizens, without discrimination.

Moreover, Article 11 prescribes that the state must ensure equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

Article 14 also prescribes that citizens have the right to government employment on the basis of competence, without favouritism.

Fatima Kandil

Is appointing female judges in courts still a taboo?

Gadallah said that Al-Saidi and Qandil are among the 66 female judges that were appointed in the ordinary courts, representing 0.5% of 16,000 judges.

“Those female judges were appointed, not selected normally through career progression,” Gadallah explained.

Despite this fact that their selection was not through the career progression, social media and newspapers congratulated the Egyptian women for being empowered.

Mohamed Samir, spokesperson for the Administrative Prosecution Authority, told DNE that the media interest of appointing females in the criminal court is a result of the public argument whether women can hold judicial positions.

According to the Malik and Shafi‘i schools of Islamic law, being a male is a precondition to be a judge. Meanwhile, Abu Hanifa school says that women may be judges in all matters, except “Hudud” crimes, which include theft, robbery, illicit sex, alcohol consumption, and apostasy, and “Qisas”, which refers to offences that involve bodily injury or loss of life. The Hanbali school said that women may become judges in all matters.

Samir explained that the criminal court tries matters related to Hudud, thus women were always excluded.

“Seeing a female judge in the criminal court means that the picture is changing. It shows that we now follow the Hanbali school that permits women to be judges in all matters,” Samir said.

What is the next step?

Samir continued that appointing women in the criminal court was a good step, however, we aspire to more progress.

He explained that the appointment of Qandil was not through the normal procedures as males. He called for ending this gender discrimination, especially in the general prosecution.

Gadallah agreed with Samir, stating that the evaluation of female judges is conducted unfairly. Male judges should not be compared to female judges, as women’s career progression face more challenges than men’s.

In conclusion, the appointment of of Qandil was a good step, but the admission of women to the judiciary system remains dependent on the government’s intervention and civil society organisations’ pressure.

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Changing dominant narrative of women on stage https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/17/changing-dominant-narrative-of-women-on-stage/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 11:30:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702922 To a considerable extent, the media plays a key role in promoting negative concepts and attitudes toward women. Doubtless, the media not only gives people information and entertainment, but it also impacts people’s lives by shaping their opinions and beliefs.

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Despite multiple examples of both electronic and print media that highlight the successes of women in public and private life, women are still seen as too emotional and unable to take substantial decisions in their lives.

It is not just men who assume that women are not decision makers, women also fall prey to the same assumption. To a considerable extent, the media plays a key role in promoting negative concepts and attitudes toward women. Doubtless, the media not only gives people information and entertainment, but it also impacts people’s lives by shaping their opinions and beliefs.

Marwa El- Shinawy

Likewise, gender roles and capabilities are constantly reinforced throughout the media, which influences highly impressionable children and young adults as they develop and form ideas of their own. Hence, women’s representation in the media will not be improved by increasing the number of women’s rights activists, or increasing the number of women’s success stories in newspapers, magazines, and specialised reviews.

What it actually requires is a radical change in the dominant narrative of women in dramatic media (stage and screen) and literature, in an attempt to challenge the negative stereotypical images of women rooted in tradition and culture.

This new positive and empowering image of women is what you can see in Waitress starring Lucie Jones, Ashley Roberts, and Blake Harrison, currently on London’s Adelphi Theatre.

Waitress is the first musical in the history of the English-speaking theatre with an all-female creative team with music and lyrics by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, a book by Jessie Nelson, direction by Diane Paulus, and choreography by Lorin Latarro. 

It is a highly acclaimed feminist drama that defies the negative image of women, and celebrates motherhood as a journey of learning and a builder of strength. The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly.

It tells the story of Jenna Hunterson, a waitress and expert pie maker at Joe’s Diner in the deep south, who is in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl, and tries to leave her small town and loveless marriage.

Obviously, the play focuses on the resilience of women and how they use obstacles to fuel their success. Most importantly, the play highlights women’s capabilities to take decisive decisions and make radical changes in their lives.

From the very beginning Jenna is neither resigned nor apathetic in the face of her immense difficulties. On the contrary, she tries to make of her workplace, the diner, a safe haven away from the realities of her violent home life, adding humour to her unhappy life by naming her tantalising confections after the tumultuous events in her daily life.

However, the pregnancy eventually changes the course of events in her life, giving her an unexpected and newfound confidence. When she discovers that she will be a mother, Jenna decides to use her baking skills as a means to change her miserable life by planning to enter a local pie-baking contest with a large reward, which would allow her to leave her husband for a new life with the baby.

Along the way, she begins an illicit affair with her gynaecologist, Jim Pomatter, for a little while, but she also decides to end this affair to lead a new life as a righteous mother for her newly-born daughter.

In spite of all the obstacles and mistakes in her life, by the end of the play, Jenna manages to be an empowered, financially-independent entrepreneur, the owner, and head chef of the diner. She became a woman who managed to realise her independence, and to create a safe space for herself and her baby, the only one who deserves her love and her protection.

Jenna ends her drama by singing a climactic ballad about crafting a new self, one who will learn “how to toughen up when she’s bruised”.

Certainly, the story of Jenna sends a message of hope, responsibility, and empowerment with a far-reaching impact on the lives of many women throughout the world. 

Marwa El-Shinawy holds a PhD in American theatre, and is a member of the Higher Committee for the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary an Experimental Theatre

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Sexual harassment at workplace: unprotected women https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/15/sexual-harassment-at-workplace-unprotected-women/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:30:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702734 ‘World heading to adopt anti-sexual harassment policies; this must stop,’ says Lawyer

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One of the most significant rights for female workers is to be safe and not to be exposed to any form of sexual harassment in workplace.

However, this seems to be a far-fetched demand, as most local workplaces lack the required regulations that criminalise sexual harassment, despite being already criminalised by the Egyptian law punishing the harasser with at least six month in prison, and if he has an authority over the victim, with two years and up to five years in prison, and fines in some cases.

Millions of women around the globe experience sexual harassment in workplace. However, many of them do not speak up fearing negative consequences, such as being accused of fabricating the incident or constructive dismissal.

For Egypt, a study by the United Nations in 2013 showed that 99.3% of women surveyed have been subject to sexual harassment.

Moreover, the New Woman Foundation published a study in 2009 saying that most Egyptian women surveyed in different governates experienced sexual harassment at public and private workplaces, whether verbal harassment, intimidation, or physical assault. The report also found that sexual harassment has nothing to do with woman’s outfit, age, or social class. Some cases of sexual assault and rape were also reported.

Based on the UN’s definition, sexual harassment is any “improper and unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person.”

“Harassment may take the form of words, gestures, or actions which tend to annoy, alarm, abuse, demean, intimidate, belittle, humiliate, or embarrass another or which create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment,” the UN added.

It could be unwelcome remarks about the appearances of the female employee, undesired touching, offensive jokes, or inquiring about sex life.

Sparked by the MeToo social media campaign which aimed to combat sexual harassment in the world, the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted on 21 June 2019 a landmark international treaty against violence and harassment in workplaces.

“Violence and harassment at work constitute a human rights violation or abuse.” It includes any behaviour that is likely to lead to “physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm or violence, according to the convention.

“Without respect, there is no dignity at work, and, without dignity, there is no social justice,” Director of the ILO’s Work Quality Department at the ILO Centenary Conference in Geneva last month, Manuela Tomei, said.

“I am not safe”

Aya, a 24-year-old customer service agent introduced by her first name only, as per her request, was delivering food at a luxury tourist resort in Sharm El-Sheikh where she works, when her colleague whispered: “what a breast!”

“I heard him. He was pretending that he was checking food orders. Then when I moved to leave, he intentionally touched me with his shoulder,” Aya told Daily News Egypt.

“I did not realise what happened. I was confused. Later, I met my manager because we had an evaluation meeting. After we finished, I told him about the incident,” Aya narrated.

Aya said she always avoided any contact with this colleague because of his inappropriate behaviour.

Aya’s manager opened an investigation into the case. Unfortunately, the administration said that they could not fire or punish him because he denied the harassment and she had no eyewitness to prove what happened.

“During the investigation, I was confused and anxious. My words were out of order so they felt like I might have misunderstood what happened, or wrongly read the situation,” Aya continued.

“I was suspended from work for a day. I am the victim, the one who was sexually harassed and now I am accused of fabricating the incident.”

Aya was blamed because she waited for almost two hours until she decided to speak up about what happened.

“They said if you screamed or called for help, then you could draw anybody’s attention, but now we cannot do anything to him,” she added.

Eventually, the investigation was closed and both were asked to return to work. “I refused the decision. This is not fair, I told them, and I will consider resigning.”

“I am not safe anymore. I do not easily recover from harassment. I have experienced sexual harassment in my childhood and even until now in the streets and transportation services. I faced horrible situations, but this is different, this is where I work and where I should be protected,” Aya noted.

“I respect my body”

It has been almost 11 months since May El-Shamy, a 29-year-old journalist, was dismissed from her work after reporting a sexual harassment incident from her manager.

“I have fought to protect my body, my body is a red line,” El-Shamy told DNE. “He [the accused manager] was always stalking my body, with inappropriate stares and sexual comments,” El-Shamy added.

El-Shamy experienced sexual harassment from her manager, however, she requested not to mention the details of the accident, as she already filed a lawsuit and an investigation is being carried by the public prosecutor.

Moreover, El-Shamy reported the incident to her work’s administration. They offered her an apology from the alleged harasser, but she refused, demanding an announced salary deduction for this manager. Her request was rejected.

They gave her two weeks off. Then after she returned, she was denied entry to her workplace. “I was unfairly dismissed from my work after I filed my complaint. I filed a lawsuit against the manager and a complaint against the administration over my unjustified dismissal,” El-Shamy said.

She took all the required legal procedures to hold her manager accountable. Despite the consequences, El-Shamy never regretted that she spoke up.

“The only thing I regret is that I did not go immediately to a police station and file a report,” El-Shamy shared.

El-Shamy spent 11 months at home jobless. She applied at other places but they dropped her application when they knew she left her previous work after reporting sexual harassment.

“I do not mind starving, but I could never accept to lose my self-respect, I did that because I respect myself,” El-Shamy concluded.

The worst work environment

May Adam, a 24-year-old illustrator and technical support agent, was working at a prestigious company where one of its managers was accused of harassment. “His stares and comments on every female employee’s appearance were aggressive and considered sexual harassment,” Adam told DNE.

She and her colleagues used to ignore him, but when he inappropriately touched one of them, they decided to speak up and file complaints. An investigation was carried by an HR female employee, but the women who filed the complaints were threatened to drop their complaints or they will lose their jobs.

“The administration told us that he did not intend to do this, and if they insist to continue their claims, they could lose their jobs,” Adam noted. 

Eventually, nothing happened and some female employees were transferred to another department. The manager was not punished, and he sometimes harass other women, Adam noted.

After a while, Adam decided to leave her job as she could not stand this work environment. “This was the worst environment in my career; they chose to cover up a harasser instead of punishing him. I am still recovering from the trauma I got from this place,” Adam illustrated.

Marwa Fawzy, a 27-year-old marketer, also experienced sexual harassment at her work. She said that in her previous work –a prominent company– her male colleagues used to say sexual comments about her just because she smokes and has tattoos.

“I was the only woman in the team. They were gossiping about me. When I got married, they hinted that I was pregnant before marriage and feared a scandal,” Fawzy recalled. 

For a safe work environment

As sexual harassment at workplaces is mounting in Egypt, some civil society organisations have provided advice for women if they face harassment.

“Any female worker facing any type of sexual harassment accompanied by threats to prevent her from promotion if she rejects, she must be aware that the harasser is a coward, and she must call for help and draw people’s attention,” Intsar El-Saed, a lawyer and the head of the Cairo Center for Development, told DNE.

Many harassers take advantage of the fact that women will not speak about the incident whatever they do and that females will be afraid and confused, El-Saed added.

“Any woman facing harassment has to threaten the offender that she would file a complaint at the work administration or police. Women have to document everything about the incident because they will need it in the investigation,” El-Saed asserted.

Meanwhile, the lawyer emphasised the need for eyewitnesses. “She might tell trusted colleagues about incidents as harassers might repeat the action with them too,” El-Saed added.

El-Saed pointed out that if a female worker was unfairly dismissed from work due to complaining about harassment, she can file a lawsuit against the company.

For a safe work environment, El-Saed asserted the need to set firm regulations, policies, and sanctions to prevent harassment.

All male workers have to be trained and prepared on professional communication with their female colleagues. “The whole world is heading to adopt anti-sexual harassment policies. This must stop,” El-Saed concluded. 

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Economic empowerment of women among Egypt’s top priorities: NCW  https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/economic-empowerment-of-women-among-egypts-top-priorities-ncw/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:00:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702535 International bodies praised increasing women’s representation in parliament to 25%

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The economic empowerment of women through technology and digitisation is one of Egypt’s top national priorities at this stage, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, said.

Morsi’s remarks came during her meeting with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, during the former’s visit to the EU institutions in Brussels last Tuesday.

Morsi highlighted Egypt’s efforts in the field of developing and empowering women in light of the unlimited support from the political leadership to the council, which was reflected in various legislative, political, and economic domains.

She also mentioned the country`s steps in benefiting from digital technology to achieve a real qualitative change in development of women.

For her part, Gabriel praised the steps that Egypt took in the field of women’s empowerment and digitisation, stressing that she is following such developments in Egypt.

“We are ready to cooperate with Egypt at all levels in these two areas to exchange experiences,” she asserted.

Moreover, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi highlighted the major axes through which Egypt is working to address issues of inequality and empowerment of women during his participation in sessions on both topics as part of the G20 summit held in Japan on 28-29 June.

Many international sides participating in the summit praised the great progress Egypt has made in the area of women’s empowerment, presidential spokesperson, Bassam Rady, said.

They also praised the recent constitutional amendments that increased the representation of women in parliament to 25%.

The president also praised the important role played by Egyptian women in the development of society, noting that Egypt has launched several programmes to empower women.

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Why female victims of sexual harassment are often shamed? https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/why-female-victims-of-sexual-harassment-are-often-shamed/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:00:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702530 What is more confusing is to see women justifying male harasser’s behaviour and blame female victims.

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Sexual harassment is a phenomenon that has been perpetuating across Egypt for years, making the country among the most dangerous places for women.

It is still a problematic topic for Egyptian women to talk about. There is some kind of social pressure on women not to speak up about harassment incidents or report them. But you may get appalled by how some women support and justify male harasser’s behaviour, even though women are the primary victims of such abuse in its various forms; verbal, physical, and emotional, in some cases even from close male relatives.

What is more confusing is to see women justifying male harasser’s behaviour and blame female victims.

In this context, a few days ago, Egyptian football player Amr Warda was excluded from the national team participating in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) over accusations of sexual harassment, but he later re-joined the team after pressure from his teammates on the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). Many, including women, defended Warda on the grounds that he is young and deserves a second chance. Warda`s case was not the first of its kind to witness women defended the harasser. Back in the time of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule, a woman, later dubbed “Set el-Setat” (Lady of Ladies), was beaten and harassed by several men in Tahrir Square while protesting against the Brotherhood. At that time, many women blamed the victim on the grounds that she was wearing inappropriate clothes.

Daily News Egypt (DNE) dug further into the issue to know why some women are shaming female victims of sexual harassment? We interviewed women’s affairs experts and psychiatrists.

Alexandra Kinias

Brainwashed that inferiority is their source of power

Alexandra Kinias, a women’s advocate and founder of Women of Egypt initiative specialised in women’s rights, explained that misogyny practiced for thousands of years in patriarchal societies continues to spread in Egypt and in other regions around the world where women are considered inferior to men, and are treated as such.

She added that in Egypt, a country with male dominance, misogyny forms the foundation for the oppression of women. It perpetuates from one generation to another as evident not only in the behaviour of men against women, but also in how the society at all its levels perceives and reacts to these behaviours. Many are appalled by how some women support and justify male harasser’s behaviour, even though they are the primary victims of their abuses in its various forms: verbal, physical, emotional, etc, and often they are personally subjected to these abuses by close male relatives.

“Because it has been wildly publicised that misogyny is a male trait, practiced by men for dominance, many are unaware that it is also practiced by women against their own gender and even their own wellbeing. Many reasons drive women to practice misogyny and advocate for their own submissiveness. In societies where women are still fighting for their rights, such behaviours, practices, and attitudes further hinder their advancement. It is shameful and disturbing when women become victims of other women’s misjudgement and injustice,” Kinias continued.

Explaining to DNE the reasons behind this attitude, Kinias said that females from an early age are brainwashed that inferiority is their source of power, adding that women in patriarchal societies, where misogyny pervades, are raised to obey, please, and work in the relationship; take more care of the men’s needs; avoid confrontations; and become subordinate – not an equal partner – in the relationship.

Girls grow up thinking that their bodies are the root of all evil

Kinias presented another reason, stating that in patriarchal societies, girls are also taught at an early age to loath their bodies and sexuality. They grow up believing that women’s bodies are the root of all evil.

“As a result, no matter what the circumstances are, they believe that women who are harassed, abused, or even raped are at fault. They blame the victims for triggering men’s sexual desires. Not only that, but they also come to the defence of these men, hence, demonstrating a behavioural pattern that perpetuates their own abuse. Never the aggressor’s fault, they rationalise men’s behaviours with excuses that these women were indecently dressed, behaving promiscuously, etc,” she continued.

Females suffer from Stockholm syndrome

“What triggers the behaviour of misogynist women is their suffering from psychological slavery, a condition which commonly became known as the Stockholm syndrome, where the victim sides with the abuser or oppressor,” Kinias said.

Depending on men socially and financially

The more these women, who were raised to obey, please, depend on men socially and financially, siding with the abuser becomes a survival instinct. Their lives, just like the slaves, depend on their abusers, and they develop gratitude for them, even if they were victimised by them first hand.

Envying those who are harassed

Therapist Mohamed Yousef and Jamal Farwiz, a professor of psychology in Cairo University, agreed that girls in their 20s, who justify sexual harassment, are actually envious of those who were harassed.

The therapists further explained that this type of girls deep inside wonder why the harasser did not choose me instead of the victim to harass?!

Women adapt a motherhood feeling toward the harasser

Farwiz added that sometimes women in their 40s and 50s tend to justify the male harasser’s behaviour out of their hidden motherhood feeling that this harasser is like her son. So, they think that the society should give him a second chance and subsequently they try to justify the harassment.

Kinias noted, “Whatever the reasons are, we should admit that those women who support harassers are in fact victims.”

She explained that they reach a state of submissiveness in accepting the abuse and justify the behaviours of harassers.

“They became content with their status quo. They attack other women who stand against harassers or try to help them break free from this cycle. Instead of appreciating the efforts that would alleviate their status, they become more aggressive. Instead of breaking free, they promote their own submissiveness and oppression. In their delusional minds, they believe the cure to social alignments is in their submissiveness and not rebelling against the abusers. In their minds, they believe if women behaved exactly as men wanted them to, they will live a happier life. These justifications became their coping mechanism to oppression,” Kinias concluded.

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Orange Egypt removes Warda from ad campaign after harassment case https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/orange-egypt-removes-warda-from-ad-campaign-after-harassment-case/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 09:30:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702539 Noteworthy, Orange is one of AFCON’s sponsors, currently held in Egypt.

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Egyptian Football player Amr Warda was excluded from Orange Egypt’s new advertising campaign for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after he was accused of sexual harassment.

Noteworthy, Orange is one of AFCON’s sponsors, currently held in Egypt.

After the eruption of the case, Warda was axed from the national team in the AFCON, but he was later pardoned after pressure from his teammates on the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). Many defended Warda on the grounds that he is young and deserves a second chance.

Warda was previously involved in several harassment cases, however social media was divided over the issue.

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Queen Elizabeth II honours Egyptian woman for charity work https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/queen-elizabeth-ii-honours-egyptian-woman-for-charity-work/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 08:30:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702513 US-based Helal received her award at the famous Royal Buckingham Palace in celebration of the queen’s birthday. It was not the first time for Queen Elizabeth II to honour Egyptians.

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Queen Elizabeth II honoured an Egyptian woman called Inas Ibrahim Helal for her outstanding work in their communities in voluntary capacity, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs.

US-based Helal received her award at the famous Royal Buckingham Palace in celebration of the queen’s birthday. It was not the first time for Queen Elizabeth II to honour Egyptians.

The English queen also honoured two Egyptians in the UK, Nemat Talaat Shafik, deputy governor of the Bank of England, and Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church for their outstanding contributions in their fields in 2015.

In 2014, the Egyptian Heart Surgeon Magdi Yacoub was awarded the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth in the New Year Honours.

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ILO adopts new labour standard to limit harassment, violence in workplace https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/ilo-adopts-new-labour-standard-to-limit-harassment-violence-in-workplace/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 10:00:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701399 The Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 and Violence and Harassment Recommendation 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has adopted a new convention and recommendation with the aim of combating violence and harassment in the workplace.

The Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 and Violence and Harassment Recommendation 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against, and 44 abstentions.

Notably, working on the convention started before the widespread protests brought against sexual harassment in 2017.

An unprecedented number of women have come forward to share stories of workplace sexual harassment since the #MeToo movement gained momentum in late 2017.

Hence, the new convention provides a broad definition of what violence and harassment in work means, in addition to where it can take place, assuring that everyone in the workplace has the right to be free from violence and harassment.

The convention will come into force 12 months after two member states have ratified it. The recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the convention could be applied.

This is the first new convention agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011 when the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No 189) was adopted. Conventions are legally binding international instruments, while recommendations provide advice and guidance.

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Six Egyptians among FN’s 50 Most Influential Women in Middle East Finance https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/six-egyptians-among-fns-50-most-influential-women-in-middle-east-finance/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 09:00:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701396 Daily News Egypt sheds the light on the careers of those successful ladies.

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Financial News (FN), a London-based financial newspaper, selected six Egyptians among its list of the 50 Most influential Women in Middle East Finance.

The six women include Yasmin Al Gharbawie, General Counsel at Qalaa Holdings; Soha Ali, Executive Director and Senior Country Officer Egypt and North Africa at JPMorgan Chase; Noha El Ghazaly, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Pharos Holding for Financial Investments; Maha Heba EnayetAlla, head of Strategy, Development, and Governance Sector at Banque Misr; Mervat Zohdy Soltan, Chair and chief executive at Export Development Bank of Egypt; and Mona Zulficar, a founding partner and chair of the Executive Committee of Zulficar & Partners.

Daily News Egypt sheds the light on the careers of those successful ladies.

Yasmin Al Gharbawie

Yasmin Al Gharbawie

She was ranked 11th among the most 50 influential women in the finance sector, according to FN. Lawyer Al Gharbawie first worked at Shalakany Law Office for 10 years, where she was mentored by veteran lawyer Mona Zulficar.

Then, she joined Microsoft. In 2015, she joined Qalaa Holdings, one of the leading investment companies in Africa and the Middle East, whose assets were valued at EGP 88bn in September 2018. Gharbawie is currently part of the management committee of Qalaa and leads her team to support investment deals, offshore operations, and regulatory matters.

She is heavily involved in Qalaa’s investment in one of Africa’s biggest financial deals, the Egyptian Refining Company, to create a $4bn oil processing plant.

Soha Ali

Ranking 21st, Ali stewarded JPMorgan’s business in some of the world’s toughest and most volatile markets, and more than doubled revenues across its Egypt and North Africa operations in the past three years.

Conditions have improved in Egypt, where she has ensured JPMorgan is well-positioned to benefit from the country’s new-found confidence in international capital markets–the United States bank acted as lead bookrunner on Egypt’s $4bn sovereign bond in February this year.

Previously, running cash management in the region for Deutsche Bank, followed by a stint as head of treasury services for North Africa at BNY Mellon in Cairo, Ali joined JPMorgan in 2010, when the Arab Spring was just around the corner.

She has since grown overall bank-wide revenues from the region more than five times, with transaction banking as a particular strength. The Cairo-based native Arabic speaker, who is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, manages key financial, government, and corporate relationships at JPMorgan. She was recently appointed to the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and co-chairs its banking and finance committee.      

Noha El Ghazaly

Noha El Ghazaly

El Ghazaly was ranked 27th among the 50 list, and she is the only woman to run a top-five investment bank in Egypt. El Ghazaly joined Pharos in May 2018, tasked with rebuilding the unit following the pound floatation in 2016.

Therefore, she implemented a new strategy to focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and capital market transactions. In 2018, she closed the $29m acquisition by Mondi, a UK-listed packaging company, of the Cairo-based National Company for Paper Products and Import & Export. She continues to build the business by hiring fresh talent. El Ghazaly previously spent a decade at HC Securities & Investment, an Egyptian investment bank, where she cut her teeth working on M&A deals, advising on transactions, including BNP Paribas’ sale of its Egypt business to Emirates NBD.

Maha EnayetAlla

Ranking 29th,

EnayetAlla has a pivotal role overseeing the strategy of Egypt’s second-biggest state-run lender as the country tries to revive its economic footing. The most senior woman on Banque Misr’s executive management, she has a busy year ahead with the Egyptian government planning to raise $400m through the sale of a stake in Banque du Caire, which is wholly owned by Banque Misr.

EnayetAlla joined Banque Misr in 2010 after 25-year experience in corporate banking and retail development at Chase National Bank, part of Chase Manhattan Bank. EnayetAlla is also responsible for Banque Misr’s sustainability programme, a big business for the bank, which reported total net profits of EGP 4.1bn in June last year.

Mervat Zohy Soltan

Mervat Soltan

Ranked 47th, Soltan has more than 35 years of banking experience, lately at HSBC Middle East in Dubai. Cairo-based Soltan has overseen one of the biggest providers of export and trade finance to Egyptian companies since November 2016.

During a period of structural reform of the Egyptian economy, as executive chair, she has more than doubled net profits from EGP 336m ($20m) to EGP 703m ($42m) in the past two years, and increased the bank’s client base from 250 to nearly 500.

She also drove the bank’s five-year strategy, which includes a greater focus on Africa to help grow Egyptian exports.

Soltan, who also spent 14 years at Deutsche Bank in Cairo until 2009, was appointed chair of the Export Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt in October.

Mona Zulficar

Rankeing 50th, Zulficar has more than 40 years of experience in law practice. She is the founding partner, besides 10 other partners and 40 lawyers, of one of the most renowned international corporate law and arbitration practice firms based in the heart of Cairo, Zulficar & Partners.

Though the firm was built only 10 years ago, she has already established legal practices in banking, finance, capital markets, and M&As with a clientele of iconic names, such as Citibank, Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan, and BNY Mellon. She is also an adviser to the Egyptian minister of finance, the Capital Markets Authority, and the Central Bank of Egypt. In addition to her previous employment at the World Health Organization and the UN Human Rights Council, she was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2009 for her role in landmark deals between Egypt and France.

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Why is divorce the easiest choice for Egyptian couples? https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/why-is-divorce-the-easiest-choice-for-egyptian-couples/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 08:00:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701395 In 2017, a report issued by the Cabinet Information Centre revealed that Egypt ranks first in the world in terms of divorce rates, after it increased from 7% to 40% during the last 50 years.

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The number of divorce cases recorded during March this year reached 17,000 from only 15,000 in March 2018.

This is an increase of 13.4%, according to the bulletin released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on marriage and divorce statistics in Egypt during March.

On the other hand, the bulletin also showed that the number of marriages increased in March reaching 64,000, compared to only 60,000 in the same period in 2018–a rise of 13.2%,

The bulletin mentioned that the number of divorces that occurred in March 2019 accounted for about 26% of the total number of new marriages in March.

In 2017, a report issued by the Cabinet Information Centre revealed that Egypt ranks first in the world in terms of divorce rates, after it increased from 7% to 40% during the last 50 years.

After the thrill of the wedding dies out, newly-wed couples oftentimes discover that marriage is not as easy as it sounds when they hit the first speed bump down their new road. Issues ranging from boredom to financial instability may lead to divorce.

What are the causes for these high divorce rates in Egypt? Is the problem in living conditions and that the couples don’t comprehend the requirements of the marital home? Or it is the problem of a wrong choice from the beginning?

Daily News Egypt dug further into these questions, by asking experts and couples themselves, to learn more about the issue of failed marriages.

Couples are not eligible for marriage

Hanan Sabry, a life coach, told Daily News Egypt that amongst the many reasons for divorce rates, new couples are just often not ready to get married. They do not fully comprehend the requirements of marriage, or the responsibilities that they must face in wedlock, she explained.

She also noted that no one in Egypt reads books about marriage before getting married to know what to expect beforhand.

Agreeing with Sabry, Hala Ahmed, a journalist, stated that marriage became a routine measure that young adults take as if it is the equivalent of completing their education.

Women became more financially independent

Meanwhile, Nour Salah, an account manager in a digital marketing company, has another opinion which is that nowadays most of women, despite their social standing, became more financially independent and are aware of the importance of having a job.

The concept of ‘stay at home’ as ‘he’ is the one who spends money on ‘you’ has been declining. In turn,  the decision of divorce become easier. Unfortunately, many statistics revealed that one of the main reasons for staying in an abusive marriage in the past was that women have no source other income.

Cheating is the knockout for any marital relationship

Ahmed Atef, engineer, stated that cheating is the main factor and the first reason behind high divorce rates, describing it as the malignant disease that uproots the marital relationship from the roots and throws it in the wind.

Sabry revealed that, among the reasons for high divorce rates in Egypt, intimacy in relationships between married couples has become very limited due to an increase in porn online watching addiction, the spread of affairs, and other forms of infidelity in Egypt.

Loss of interest, gap in communication 

Moreover, Sabry pointed out that men sometimes prefer to escape from their home, spend most of their time with friends at cafés or at work doing nothing. This could be because they feel uncomfortable or unhappy at home. This leaves women alone at home with children. In the long run, such a situation  also results in fathers feeling disconnected from their children.

Sabry noted also that the gap in communication happens as each partner has their own priorities and interests. To fix a communication issue, they must share these interests together.

Living conditions

Hams Tamer, a professor in the Faculty of Mass communication, explained that the living condition and the increase in prices puts a higher level of stress on men to fulfil the requirements of their homes.

“As a result, some of them spend most of their time outside home searching for or working another job, so they do not spend time with their wives. Others sit and spend their time with their wives at home but are thinking and stressing about how to fulfil house requirements,” she added.

“In both cases, women feel unhappy in these marriages, alone, and demand to get divorced” she continued.

Boredom is one of most common causes of divorce

Sabry stated that the boredom is one of the most common causes of divorce. At some point the couple gets bored from the daily routine of marriage and its, oftentimes, permanent pattern.

Higher expectations about marriage life

Medhat Ali, a director, stated that the fictional image of marriage that the media presents in films taught young adults an incorrect idea. Films usually show that marriage is linear, happy, and clear. Meanwhile, in fact, marriage is not like ‘your typical Hollywood film.’

Every marriage has issues, it is up to the couple to fix those issues together.

“Neglecting the fact also that your partner is a human creature not an angel,” he said.

Tips for limiting the higher divorce rate

Finally, the reasons behind the higher divorce rates are diverse, however the result is the same, thus Sabry gave some tips for the new couples in order to limit the divorce rates.

Sabry noted that the solution to all those aforementioned problems is that new couples should take courses before marriage to become prepared for marriage, which are regularly held at mosques and churches.

“Also, reading a lot of books about marriage because culturing yourself reduces the incidence of problems,” she said.

When the knot is tied and the “I do’s” are said, it is important to keep the marriage alive by taking up each other’s interests such as, going to the gym together, celebrating anniversaries, or simply devoting a day a week for a dinner date.

“Taking into consideration that every age comes with new skills and changes that occur in men and women that must be accepted and dealt with in the right way,” she asserted.

Finally, she said that when women focus on their dreams, this will solve a large portion of the problems that Egyptian families face, as they will be more focused on their own life and not as preoccupied with their husbands’ lives, hence men will be happier in their homes and will not try to spend most of their time out of them.

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Average life expectancy of Egyptian females increased to 74.7 years in 2018 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/average-life-expectancy-of-egyptian-females-increased-to-74-7-years-in-2018/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 01:04:55 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700786 The highest survival expectancy for females aged 60-64 years was 18.8 years, compared to18.3 years for males, and the lowest age expectancy (75 years and over) was 8.5 years compared to 9.7 years for males in 2018

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Life expectancy at birth for females increased from 72.5 years in 2014 to 74.7 in 2018, compared to 69.7 years for males in 2014 and 72.3 in 2018, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in its latest report.

The highest survival expectancy for females aged 60-64 years was 18.8 years, compared to18.3 years for males, and the lowest age expectancy (75 years and over) was 8.5 years compared to 9.7 years for males in 2018.

In terms of the female mortality rate, the CAPMAS revealed that it decreased slightly from 5.6 deaths per 1,000 females in 2014 to 5.3 deaths per 1,000 females in 2017.

Regarding the causes of the female mortality rate, the CAPMAS disclosed that 50.6% of female deaths in 2017 were due to periodic system diseases.

“Female mortality rate due to circulatory system diseases decreased slightly from 50.9% in 2014 to 50.6% of total female mortality in 2017 and mortality rate due to digestive system diseases decreased from 9.5% in 2014 to reach 8.9% of total female mortality in 2017,” according to the CAPMAS.

Moreover, it further showed out that female deaths due to respiratory system diseases decreased from 8.3% in 2014 to 8.0% in 2017, while female mortality rate due to tumours was 6.7% in 2014, compared with 6.4% in 2017.

The lowest percentage of female deaths was due to pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperal diseases, as the report presented that it decreased from 0.2% in 2014 to reach 0.1% in 2017.

Furthermore, the maternal mortality rate decreased from 52 women per 100,000 live births in 2014 to 46 women in 2017, according to the CAPMAS.

Notably, maternal mortality rate is defined as the number of mothers who die during a specific calendar year due to pregnancy, childbirth, or during the 40 days following birth.

The CAPMAS monitored that the rate of older women with difficulties from high to absolute in 2017 represented 12.3% of total senior women in Egypt.

It further revealed that the difficulty of walking or climbing stairs represented the highest percentage of difficulties in that age group (60 years and over), where it reached 9.9% for females compared to 6.8% for males.

 

Governmental efforts to improve women’s health conditions in Egypt

A source from the National Council for Women (NCW) explained that these improvements in the health of Egyptian women are due to the efforts of the NCW and the ministry of the social solidarity including, having a bill against the marriage of underage girls.

In addition to the draft law to protect women from violence, as well as the early detection of breast cancer in full for 52,000 cases through the NCW branches, the Women’s Health Center, the Ministry of Health, the Oncology Institute, the Nasser Institute, and the Baheya Hospital.

In terms of the ministry of social solidarity’s efforts to improve the women’s health, she explained that it includes raising awareness of 1.150 million families on the importance of family planning and providing free family planning services to women through 92 NGOs in 10 governorates.

In addition, there is a need to implement 439,000 visits and 51,000 women have been transferred to health units and clinics to receive service.

“Also, it should be mentioned that 33 family planning clinics have been equipped and developed by NGOs, and doctors and nurses are provided to ensure regular service, and 37 additional clinics are being developed in underserved areas, as well as launching intensive media and field campaigns, and devoting the capacity of 1,271 community educators to raise awareness,” she noted.

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Maya Morsi demands from drama producers to present respectful values towards women https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/maya-morsi-demands-from-drama-producers-to-present-respectful-values-towards-women/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 01:01:15 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700784 President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, demands from the drama producers to focus on presenting respectful values and protection for women in their dramatic productions

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President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsi, demands from the drama producers to focus on presenting respectful values and protection for women in their dramatic productions.

She explained that one single scene of drama could destroy the efforts of the state and the strategies that are being put in place to combat violence against women, pointing out that violence against women is not an authentic Egyptian value.

Her remarks came during the press conference organised by the NCW on Tuesday, to present the results of the 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.

In that context, Morsi highlighted during her speech the importance of presenting the image of women in dramatic productions in a decent manner and addressing women’s issues through dramas in a positive way.

She stated that this year, the positive image of women was appeared more than the negative images, pointing out that there is a commitment to the ethical code of the media established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Morsi aspires to increase women’s lead characters and, more importantly, to see drama producers convey the message that Egyptian girls and women are strong, successful, and leaders, assuring that their empowerment in society is supported by showing successful female role models.

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Nutrifuel: Food Quality, Not Quantity https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/22/nutrifuel-food-quality-not-quantity/ Sat, 22 Jun 2019 00:56:20 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700780 Nutrifuel provides healthy meal delivery services to the clients’ door steps

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“Do not focus on how much you eat but focus on what you eat,”: through this concept a nutritionist called Cherryhan Salvedia graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Al-Qasr Al-Eini, and launched her own project entitled ‘Nutrifuel.’

Nutrifuel provides healthy meal delivery services to the clients’ door steps.

“There are many nutrition plans out there, but which fits your body and lifestyle the most, this is what I am trying to offer my clients and patients after asking and knowing from them some details about their in-body, in order to set for them the better guidance and long-life results,” Salvedia believes.

 

 

She stated that Nutrifuel is a project that serves people who want to lose weight or want to eat healthy food through three services. First of which is to design a healthy meal plan for the client if he/she does not follow-up with a nutritionist doctor. Secondly, is to prepare for them healthy food. And finally, to deliver these healthy foods to clients’ doorsteps.

“I chose the name Nutrifuel as a way to simply express the idea of my project,” she noted.

Concerning the safety of the food, Salvedia shared that she takes all the infection control procedures but she is also working on taking an accreditation of the safety of food from the ministry of health.

In that context, she stated that she does not use any shipping companies for that reason, but rather she depends for the delivery on trustworthy persons whom she knows.

Salvedia narrated that she started her own nutrition clinic two years, then she noticed that most of her patients are motivated to eat healthy food. However, they sometimes get lazy to buy and cook healthy food, and sometimes they say that they have no time to buy the ingredients.

“So I began to think to solve the problem by offering them to buy and cook for them the needed healthy food, and then I thought why not expand this project to serve all the people not only my patients,” she continued.

“I was surprised by how the people were interested, most people are motivated to eat healthy and they became more aware about the impact of having a healthy life style,” Salvedia asserted.

“But they need a lot of psychological support, and still we need to work on raising awareness that losing weight is not only related to going to gym and taking tablets, but the main task that you have to do to lose weight is to eat healthy food,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, throughout my experience in nutrition, I found that most of my patients that are overweight are housewives, as they love eating but they don`t know the right and healthy way for eating healthy food,” Salvedia revealed.

Salvedia disclosed that throughout her experience in nutrition, she found that women and girls in Egypt mostly suffer from a deficiency of zinc and calcium in their blood.

She explained that the lack of zinc comes as a result of a lack of vitamin C and the lack of calcium comes as a result of a lack of vitamin D.

So, she advises every woman to expose her child to the sun until the age of six-years-old in order to gain enough vitamin D and to make them eat fresh vegetables and fruits that contain vitamin C.

“We need to teach women and girls in Egypt to notice the changes that happen in their shape, hair, etc, in order to be able to simply explain their problem to know exactly what vitamins their bodies need,” she shared.

“My only hope is to see people living a happy, healthy life without using or taking any drugs, as every drug is extracted from a specific plant that we can eat instead of taking the drug,” Salvedia concluded.

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What economic future motherhood at 18 looks like https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/14/what-economic-future-motherhood-at-18-looks-like/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:05:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700412 Motherhood before 18, economic opportunities

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The phenomenon of having a child before the age of 18 is still high, however there are efforts being taken globally to limit this phenomenon.

The global adolescent birth rate has declined from 65 births per 1,000 women in 1990 to 47 births per 1,000 women in 2015. Despite this overall progress, because the global population of adolescents continues to grow, projections indicate the number of adolescent pregnancies will increase globally by 2030, with the greatest proportional increases in west and central Africa and eastern and southern Africa, according to the World Health Organization ( WHO).

Every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2 million girls aged under 15 become pregnant in developing regions. Approximately 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2.5 million girls under 16 give birth in developing regions, according to the WHO.

 

 

Additionally, regional differences reveal unequal progress: adolescent birth rates range from a high of 115 births per 1,000 women in west Africa to 64 births per 1,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45 births per 1,000 women in south-eastern Asia, to a low of 7 births per 1,000 women in eastern Asia. There are also up to three times more adolescent pregnancies in rural and indigenous populations than in urban populations, according to the WHO.

Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem that occurs in high, middle, and low-income countries. Around the world, adolescent pregnancies are more likely to occur in marginalised communities, commonly driven by poverty and lack of education and employment opportunities.

Many studies discussed the negative impact of having a child at 18-years-old on women’s health and social life, while no study addressed its negative impact on the economic empowerment of women.

Thus, in line with the spirit of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference–which focused on power, progress, change–Women Deliver and the Population Council conducted a new study exploring the association between having a child before 18 and economic opportunity. The findings have implications for both the individual’s power (girls’ and women’s individual power, self-esteem, and agency) and structural power (the systems, barriers, and opportunities for progress in power relations, including political, economic, and social structures).

Noteworthy, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference is considered the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women that is held this year on the period from 3 to 6 June in Vancouver, Canada.

An analysis of data representing more than 600 million women, aged 20 to 49, from 43 low- and middle-income countries, found that there is a strong and consistent lifelong negative association between giving birth before 18 and a woman’s economic empowerment.

Childbearing before 18 is widespread. Despite global declines in the rates of adolescent childbearing in the last 25 years, the study found that it remains common in many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where in nearly a dozen countries at least 30% of women have a child before 18.

According to the report, women, aged 20 to 24, who had a child during adolescence are 1.2 times more likely to work than their peers. Young mothers may be pushed into working by economic necessity. This effect of adolescent childbearing on employment disappears among women aged 25 to 49.

Unfortunately, the report disclosed that women who have a child before 18 are set back economically throughout their lives. Across all age groups, working women who had a child during adolescence are less likely to earn cash for their work than women who did not have a child during adolescence.

The report found out that most women, aged from 20 to 49, are employed, however the work is often not economically compensated or empowering.

“More than half of all women in more than three quarters of the countries analysed were employed. Employment tends to be lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds and increases steadily with age, and in some countries levels off after age 40,” the report explained further.

Furthermore, the report illustrated out that the percentage of women paid in cash for their work varies widely across countries, while the percentage of working women paid in cash ranges from less than 30% in Burundi and Rwanda to more than 90% in South Africa, the Maldives, Guatemala, and Colombia.

“Unpaid work outside the household is the second most common form of employment in 22 of 43 countries after cash payment, and the most common form of employment in five countries. Overall, unpaid work outside the household accounts for at least 10% of women’s employment in more than half of the countries analysed,” the report stated.

It also revealed that married or cohabiting women’s control over their cash earnings generally unfortunately remains low, stating that Less than 50% of married women work, earn cash, and have control over their earnings across all countries studied, except Togo and Cambodia.

The report ensured through these results that when a woman gives birth before 18, her economic and financial options become more limited throughout her lifetime.

Thus, they thought about what governments, policymakers, civil society, and donors can do in order to end the phenomenon of giving birth before 18.

Among the recommendations is improving the provision of, and access to, high-quality, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health service and information, including voluntary, modern contraception, and safe abortion, before, during, and after girls and women have begun having children.

Additionally, developing policies and programmes to open up a range of employment opportunities that are economically empowering for girls and women, including those that are compatible with motherhood such as social protection systems (for example, parental leave policies, senior pensions, flexible working hours, child allowances) and recognising and valuing unpaid care work.

This is in addition to committing to collect nationally representative gender- and age-disaggregated data and using evidence to inform policies and practices.

Commenting on the study, President and CEO of Women Deliver, Katja Iversen, said that the study examines complex issues, but the implications are simple, in order to move the needle on gender equality, women need to be able to control their own fertility and their own earnings.

“We need societal investment in access to modern contraception, safe abortion, and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as in expanding economic opportunities for all girls and women,” Iversen asserted.

The ability to earn and control cash represents more than just earnings—it influences a woman’s ability to make strategic life choices,” said Stephanie Psaki, PhD, deputy director of the Population Council’s Girl Center.

“This is one of the first studies to show consistently across so many countries and settings that having a child early can impact future earning potential,” Psaki added.

Furthermore, “The study confirms that early life events can shape the trajectory of a young woman’s life,” said Julia Bunting, OBE, president of the Population Council.

“Policymakers need to invest in better understanding the trade-offs girls and women face and prioritise actions that will ensure girls and women have a full range of life options,” Bunting added.

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Story behind Egypt’s National Day for Elimination of FGM https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/14/story-behind-egypts-national-day-for-elimination-of-fgm/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:58:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700408 National Council for Women launches "Boudor’s Month" campaign against FGM

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Every year the 14 of June marks Egypt’s National Day for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which was set by the Egyptian ministry of family and population in 2008, currently replaced by the ministry of health and population. The date was chosen to commemorate the death of a 12-year-old girl called “Boudor” who passed away after being subjected to FGM.

 

 

Boudor’s story dates back to 14 June 2007, when her mother took her to a clinic in Minya governorate, hours after she learned of her daughter’s success in the final exam of Grade 5 in primary school.

The mother went to the clinic and paid the doctor EGP 50 for the FGM operation. Then, the mother narrated that she left her daughter and went out to buy a medicine required by the doctor, and unfortunately when she returned to the clinic, she was surprised that her daughter’s face had turned blue. She thought that Boudor is only exhausted from the operation, but in fact the girl was dead.

Sadly, Boudor died as a result of an anaesthetic overdose, as later evidenced by the forensic report. However, the doctor denied in front of the court her responsibility for the death of the girl, and tried to persuade the mother to waive the record against her in exchange of EGP15,000, but the mother refused of course.

In 2008, Egypt imposed the penalty of imprisonment for between three months and two years on practitioners who commit the offense in the Law No. 126 of 2008. In August 2016, the government enacted a legislation to criminalise FGM in Article 242(bis) of the Criminal Code.

Meanwhile, the court sentenced the suspected doctor for one year in prison and fined her EGP 1,000.

Despite how harmful this incident was, it represents a turning point on the war against FGM in Egypt. Days after the death of Boudor on 28 June 2007, the ministry of health issued a Decree No 271 prohibiting FGM.

At that time, the Dar al-Ifta, Egypt’s central authority for issuing religious rulings, also banned the practice of FGM.

This year, Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW) and head of the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM, and Azza al-Ashmawi, secretary-general of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, launched a campaign entitled “Boudor’s Month” to raise awareness of the negative impacts of FGM countrywide. The campaign runs for a month staring from 13 June to 14 July 2019.

 

Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women (NCW) and head of the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM

Fortunately, the rates of FGM in Egypt are declining. It reached 92% among married women aged between 15-49, 85% among young women in the 20-25 age group, and 72% among girls in the 13-17 age group, as reported by the youth and population survey in Egypt.

However, there is a significant increase in the percentage of girls being circumcised by healthcare providers, reaching 65% among girls aged 13-17 years old, compared to 31% among married women aged between 15-49, according to the Population Council.

Commenting on the issue of medicalising FGM, Country Director of the Population Council in Egypt, Nahla Abdel-Tawab, told Daily News Egypt that it is important to spread sufficient awareness in order to eliminate the phenomenon of FGM, especially by healthcare providers, which is the medicalisation of FGM.

She explained that although most doctors are aware that circumcision is illegal, some of them conduct the surgery under other names, or suggest other doctors.

Abdel-Tawab added that doctors and nurses’ information on sexual health is very limited, and that they are not sufficiently aware of the psychological and health damages caused by female circumcision.

Furthermore, Abdel-Tawab stressed the need to consolidate efforts to work toward eradicating FGM, urging all government bodies and NGOs to incorporate in their plans and programme efforts to decrease the medicalisation of FGM, as well as to reduce the demand for circumcision by raising the awareness of families of the long- and short-term negative impacts of FGM.

Most of the activities against FGM did not sufficiently target men and young people, despite their indirect role which affects the decision to circumcise females, Abdel-Tawab declared.

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Egypt 1st to implement UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal Programme in tourism sector https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/30/egypt-1st-to-implement-undps-gender-equality-seal-programme-in-tourism-sector/ Thu, 30 May 2019 11:00:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699482 The GES UNDP country offices’ aim is to integrate gender equality into all aspects of their development work.

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The Egyptian Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Egypt, has announced its intention to obtain the UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal (GES) in the tourism sector.

The GES UNDP country officesaim is to integrate gender equality into all aspects of their development work.

This announcement came during a ceremony in which Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, explained the requirements and the steps for obtaining the GES.

She explained that the fifth pillar in the tourism reform programme that was launched by the ministry in November, is focusing on global tourism trends which include promoting the economic empowerment of women by increasing the female workforce in the tourism sector.

“Tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income generation from various sources and can be a tool for women to become fully engaged and lead in society. This can be achieved through some policy tools including diversity management, in addition to awareness campaigns for fighting sexual harassment, as well as spreading non-discriminatory values in staff recruitment and training,” Al-Mashat added.

Furthermore, she explained that the requirements for having the GES includes eliminating the gender-based pay gaps, increasing women’s roles in decision making, enhancing work-life balance, enhancing women’s access to non-traditional jobs, eradicating sexual harassment in the work place, and using inclusive, gender-sensitive communication.

The minister asserted the ministry’s keenness to increase the number of women working in the tourism sector, referring to the cooperation between the ministry and the private sector in this regard, especially in the field of training, and providing a suitable working environment for women.

Moreover, Al-Mashat also praised the NCW`s efforts to promote women’s rights and freedoms, as well as non-discrimination and equal opportunity principals.

For her part, the president of the NCW, Maya Morsi, revealed that Egypt is the first country in the world to launch the seal of equality in the tourism sector, and many countries will benefit from Egypt’s experience.

Morsi stressed that there are many women who became pioneers in a number of fields that have been occupied by women for the first time, and are taking part in decision-making.

Talking about women’s achievements, the president of the NCW noted that it is the first time for women to become the president’s advisor for national security affairs.

She also emphasised that women currently represent 15% of the parliamentary seats in 2018, up from only 2% in 2013, which is considered the highest percentage ever in the history of the Egyptian Parliament.

Morsi also mentioned that the unemployment rate for women in Egypt has significantly decreased, elaborating that the unemployment rate among women decreased from 24% in 2014 down to 21.4 % in 2018, then to 19.6 % in the first quarter of 2019.

Proudly, Morsi disclosed that girls currently represent 54% of the university students, while 46.5% of those holding a master’s degree and a PhD are women.

She also referred to the increased number of female ministers gradually from 6% in 2015, up to 20% in 2017, and then 25% in 2018, adding that it is also the highest ever in Egyptian history in this regard.

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Ramadan dramas witness decline in violence against women, use of profanity: NCW https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/30/ramadan-dramas-witness-decline-in-violence-against-women-use-of-profanity-ncw/ Thu, 30 May 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699479 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 regards to the media code established by the NCW’s media committee and approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

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Ramadan dramas witnessed a decline in violence against women, as well as a decline in the use of profane language in portraying negative images of women, according to the initial indicators of  the National Council for Women (NCW), which include monitoring results for the image of women in Ramadan dramas and commercials.

Earlier, the President of the 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 regards 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 violation which damages the image of women, adding that this monitoring will also include daily printed media.

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

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

The NCW revealed in the initial report for the image of women in Ramadan 2019, that series this year, largely abided by the media code for women, which was issued by the NCW in 2017 and was approved by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

Notably, the code calls for a better portrayal of women, and it was issued by the NCW in 2017 following public fury over the portrayal of women in some Ramadan shows in 2016.

Following this, the NCW also created a committee to monitor how women are portrayed on television screens, which has been in effect for the past three seasons of Ramadan.

Unfortunately, the 2019 initial report noted this year that series largely use sexual innuendos, giving examples like “Fekra B million Geneah,” (an idea worth EGP1m), “ El Princesa Baisa,” (Princess Baisa), “Hadota Mora,” (Mora`s Story), “ El Wad Sayed El Shahat,” ( Sayed the beggar), Alamet astafham,(question mark), “Shaaet Faisal,” (Faisal Flat,)”El zoga 18,” (wife number 18), “ Wald El Gahalaba,” (son of the kind people).

The report also disclosed that many series featured this year the issue of polygamy including, “El zoga 18,” “Abn El Asool,” (son of proper people,) “Weld El Ghalaba,” (son of the kind people), and “ Shaaet Faisal” (Faisal Flat).

Moreover, the issue of sexual harassment was featured in more than one series, whether verbally or physically such as the series of Weld El Ghalaba, Qamar Hadea, El zoga 18, Princesa Baisa, Mamlaket El Ghagar (kingdom of Gypsies).

Furthermore, the report disclosed that the issue of domestic violence has been the subject of many series.

The NCW`s committee stated that series this season portrayed women with disabilities, some negatively whereas others were portrayed positively.

In addition, the NCW`s committee also monitored the issue of drugs and smoking among women in the series of the “Zai El Shams” (like the sun),“Hekayty” (My story), “Qamar Hadea,”( quiet moon), “Qabel,”(Abel) “ Shaet faisal, Alamet Astafham, “Le Akher nafas (For the last breath), and Hadota Mora.

The series focused more on mature women rather than their childhood or adolescence. The series also were interested more in women in urban areas than in rural areas.

The report mentioned that the series presented women in the average income groups and the lower income groups more than that of those of higher income groups.

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

The eight dramas are “Zai El Shams”, starring Dina Al-Sherbini; “Hadotet Mora” , starring Ghada Abdel Razek; “Hekayty”, starring Yasmin Sabry; “Badal Al Hadota Talata”, starring Dounia Samir Ghanem; “Super Mario,” starring Emy Samir Ghanem; ” Priness Bissa” , starring Mai Ezz ElDein, and finally the last one is “Mamlaket ElGhagar,”where there is shared starring lead roles between Fifi Abdo and Horaya Farghaly.

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

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Four women challenge male-dominated food market in Ramadan https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/23/four-women-challenge-male-dominated-food-market-in-ramadan/ Thu, 23 May 2019 10:00:09 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698793 “Ala Tablya” makes your Suhoor memorable

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Egyptians are known for celebrating of the holy month of Ramadan on a special way. Before the start of the fasting month, the people flock to food markets to buy their needs in preparation for the month, in which families frequently host their relatives and friends for Iftar (the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset).

During Ramadan, the people also follow many TV shows broadcasted exclusively in the month. But what really distinguishes the celebration of Ramadan in Egypt is the collective spirit that everybody feels.

There’s no better chance to gather with friends and relatives than for Iftar or Suhoor (the meal before fasting) to enjoy the spirit of the blessed month.

Lately, Egypt began to witness a new style of celebration in Ramadan, called “Ramadan nights”. As the city becomes busy and overcrowded, many people search for suitable places to hang out. Some prefer shopping in big malls, others go to hotels or coffee shops, while most of the people go to “Ramadan tents”.

Ramadan tents are venues that erected during Ramadan, serving usually Suhoor, but they have special decorations that mirror the spiritual atmosphere of the holy month.

Four women living in Sheikh Zayed decided to open their own Ramadan tent in the city, and named it Ala Tablya (on a low rounded table). The small project aims to change the idea that women cannot stay late outside.

Daily News Egypt sat down with Mariam Moez, 30, a co-founder of the tent, to learn more about the project and the challenges they might have faced as well as their future plans. The most amazing thing that we noticed in her words that she always talks about the team spirit and that the project is consisting of three other people in addition to herself, assuring that any of them couldnot succeed alone.

“I was graduated from the Faculty of Languages ​​and Translation. Before talking about our project, I’d like to introduce my partners, who are Rahma Hassan, an engineer; Yasmin Maher, a TV producer; and Marwa El Ageely, a housewife,” Moez said.

“Last year, we noticed that a lot of our friends opened Ramadan tents, and they all were really amazing, so we thought why not to open our own tent this year,” she added.

She pointed out that they conducted a feasibility study of the project, and obtained all the required licenses from the concerned authorities to open the tent, mentioning that it is not easy at all to open a tent, it needs a lot of efforts and at the same time it costs a lot. Moez explained further that to open a Ramadan tent, it may cost at least EGP 100,000, in addition to the efforts that they spend to follow up with the staff, etc.

“Two weeks before opening the tent, we started preparing for the project. We start at 10am and return home at 2am. It was really difficult and exhausting,” she said. The first step was obtaining the required licenses, then they bought decorations, kitchen tools, and food ingredients.

“We get the food menus of other tents to set reasonable prices of our own, then we chose the name of the tent and printed our food menus,” she narrated in a happy voice. “We chose that name to express the idea of having oriental food at Suhoor,” she clarified.

“At first, we planned to provide seating in an Arabian style (small low tables while the people sit on floor chairs), then we found that it will be difficult for the elders to sit on the ground, so we made a mix between normal chairs and floor chairs,” she mentioned.

“Our staff consists of two chefs, three waiters, and Shisha guy. It was a difficult phase as we spend a lot of time in recruiting,” she added. Moez asserted that the founders themselves buy the food ingredients to ensure their quality, mentioning that they always check the expiry date of food products, and taste everything before serving it for clients.

“In the opening day, I can say this was the best moment for the team. We felt that we began to reap the fruits of our efforts,” she said proudly.

“We were totally amazed by the lovely comments and feedbacks that we received on the opening day,” she continued.

Talking about the obstacles they faced, Moez said: “At first, we faced a lot of obstacles. Some of our kitchen and table tools were stolen, the previous staff was careless and we had to replace it,” she narrated.

“We suffered sexual harassment in some days, but we dealt well with those harassers,” Moez said with a self-confident tone.

“The worst situation ever that we faced since the inauguration, was when the staff delayed in serving food for a customer due to the high occupancy of the tent, then the customer started shouting at the staff and us as owners. We apologised of course for her, but we were sad that we upset one of our customers,” Moez said.

Regarding the tent`s capacity, Moez stated that they designed it to accommodate up to 100 people, then they realized that on weekends they get over 100 customers, so they raised the capacity to 125.

She disclosed that sometimes they receive only 20 or 25 customers, while on weekends they get around 150-200 people.

In terms of the average of the clients` ages, she mentioned that their customers are mainly from youth aged between 15-35 years old.

“What distinguishes our tent is her spirit. We have a friendly spirit and provide different entertainment programmes, such as Tanoura and Takht,” she explained.

In Egypt, it’s not favourable for women to return home late. Moez said that this has changed, especially in Ramadan. She mentioned that all her family support her to continue the project.

Moez noted that they depend mainly on social media platforms for marketing their tent as well as the word of mouth.

Talking about their plans in the next period, she said: “We will definitely do it again next Ramadan, but if we succeeded, we would make it permanent.”

“Whether we will succeed or not, we are happy with what we learned, and with the friendships and relationships we formed through Ala Tablya,” she concluded.

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Women availed from Takaful, Karama programme cap 88% of total beneficiaries https://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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://ww.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.

The post For its 10th time: L’Oréal Group recognised as one of world’s most ethical companies appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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‘Menstrual leave’: delayed right or preferential move? https://ww.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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