Women – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 24 Mar 2019 09:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Egypt’s first ‘ideal mother’: woman’s success story, struggles  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/03/22/egypts-first-ideal-mother-womans-success-story-struggles/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/03/22/egypts-first-ideal-mother-womans-success-story-struggles/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 19:03:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693643 Egypt honoured 32 women across Egypt on Monday, naming them ‘ideal mothers for 2019’. The mother come from different governates across Egypt, including Cairo; Giza; Assiut; North Sinai; New Valley; Qena; Matrouh; Alexandria; Kafr El-Sheikh; Aswan; Fayoum; the Red Sea; Qaliubiya; Sharqeya; Port Said; Gharbeya; Beni Suef; Menoufiya; Beheira; Sohag; South Sinai, and Suez. Meanwhile, …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only families

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

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

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

Police at the doors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Has no excuses”    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Rent before food”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women’s labour force participation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Female employment

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

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

Women on board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Importance of women’s economic empowerment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did the idea of ‘She Can’ originate?

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


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

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

What is unique about this year’s edition?

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

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

What is the goal that She Can aims to achieve? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the average age for the participating women entrepreneurs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you evaluate the success of women entrepreneurs nowadays?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, what are your aspirations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Egyptian female pioneers begin series of sessions to empower ‘technocratic women https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/egyptian-female-pioneers-begin-series-of-sessions-to-empower-technocratic-women/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/egyptian-female-pioneers-begin-series-of-sessions-to-empower-technocratic-women/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690747 The 50 Most Influential Women Forum-the first and largest community dialogue with more than 200 women technocrats representing the female members of the forum-was launched on Tuesday, with the aim of establishing a vision for Egyptian women’s forces in rebuilding the Egyptian identity in all fields in a stage that needs all ideas and proposals …

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The 50 Most Influential Women Forum-the first and largest community dialogue with more than 200 women technocrats representing the female members of the forum-was launched on Tuesday, with the aim of establishing a vision for Egyptian women’s forces in rebuilding the Egyptian identity in all fields in a stage that needs all ideas and proposals to achieve sustainable social and economic development.

The forum will last till mid 2019, in the form of panel discussions with government and private decision-making bodies headed by many women who hold senior positions including government leaders, entrepreneurs, heads of institutions, and community activists as well as members of the Egyptian Parliament, in order to achieve a number of priorities to build a strong and cohesive business community capable of keeping abreast of changes in the local and international arena.

For her part, Dina Adelfatah, president of the forum, stated that the strategy of the forum is completely different from any gatherings or forums for women, as it does not only care about women’s affairs, but also seeks a real participation by women in the crystallisation of ideas and proposals that will contribute toward a boom in various business sectors.

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Largest share of microfinance contributors in 2018 are Women https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/largest-share-of-microfinance-contributors-in-2018-are-women/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/largest-share-of-microfinance-contributors-in-2018-are-women/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:30:43 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690754 Women are 67.7% of microfinance's beneficiaries in Egypt

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Women contribute to the largest share of microfinance, accounting for nearly 50.2% of total funding, according to Mona Zulfikar, chairperson of the Egyptian Union of Microfinance.

She added that 67.7% of microfinance’s beneficiaries in Egypt are women.

Meanwhile, Zulfikar declared that the total value of Egypt’s micro-finance portfolio reached EGP17.7bn at the end of 2018, up from EGP 10.9bn in 2017, a hike of 63%.

She said the active customer base in the sector increased by 25% in 2018 to reach 3.1 million clients, compared to only 2.5 million ones in 2017.

According to the report issued by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) on the microfinance activity in Egypt, NGOs topped the bodies that provide microfinance.

In that context, the chairperson of the Egyptian Union of Microfinance stated that the active portfolio of NGOs reached EGP 6bn, accounting for 35.4% of the total market by the end of last year, noting that its active customer base reached 1.9million, representing 60.5% from the total beneficiaries in Egypt.

Meanwhile, companies ranked second in terms of the number of the beneficiaries in 2018, with a total number of beneficiaries of 875,000 clients, representing over 27.7% from the total number of beneficiaries last year.

Furthermore, companies came in third place in terms of its microfinance’s portfolio with a total active portfolio of EGP 5.2bn, representing 29.5% from Egypt’s microfinance portfolio in the aforementioned period.

Concerning banks, Zulfikar noted that banks, with 368,000 beneficiaries and with a a total portfolio of EGP 6.240m in 2018, acquire 37% of Egypt’s microfinance portfolio in the market.

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Woman’s creativity turns old furniture into modern art pieces https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/womans-creativity-turns-old-furniture-into-modern-art-pieces/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/22/womans-creativity-turns-old-furniture-into-modern-art-pieces/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:00:53 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=690743 She owes her success in starting this project to her father, brothers

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An Egyptian woman called Hadir Mansour, tried to break the males monopoly on certain professions and change society’s view of women, through establishing a project to fix and renovate home furniture and some handicrafts, into modern art pieces.

Within a few months, the workshop evolved into a lucrative business, as she began to receive assignments to refurbish many shops and restaurants. Then Mansour expanded the project to also give workshops to people on fixing and refurbishing old furniture.

Mansour graduated with a bachelor of computer science and information in 2011, and she is 28 years old.

Mansour told DNE that her journey with her project was a “Bab Na`ema,” (Doors of Abundance) which all started as she was sitting bored one day at home, when she was working as a children’s swimming coach, which is a seasonal career. So she tried to kill the boring time through starting to renovate some old furniture in her house.

Then her father encouraged her, giving her a room in the house, which she turned into a small workshop with simple tools.

“Then the news spread and many of our neighbours brought me some of their old furniture requesting from me to refurbish them into new modern art pieces. Then the news spread wider throughout my country, as I am lived in Sheibin el Kom in Menoufiya governorate and people began to request work from me, “she said happily.

“After that, I expanded the project through partnering with two of my friends, and we rented a small apartment with minimum investments and opened a workshop called “Bab Na`ma.,” The reason behind this name is because all the project‘s team are women, and Na’maa (a girls’ name) represents them all. In addition to that I wanted to give the project an authentic Egyptian name that resonates with people,” she continued.

Mansour stated proudly that now she established her project in a six-room apartment, noting that now she has a team of 15 girls, highlighting that her business now expanded from just refurbishing furniture to painting and finishings for shops, apartments, restaurants, and more.

“We also now organise summer workshops to train children on some handicrafts so that they can repair their toys or make some toys from old pieces of wood,” she said with a big smile on her face.

“We also dedicated training courses for mothers and women, as well as special courses for girls, in order to train housewives to repair their old furniture, paint their walls, and decorate them in a simple way, and renovate any household items. I was surprised that the training courses were attended by a large number of women, girls, and children,” she stated with a confident voice.

She recalled that she owes her success in starting this project to her father and brothers who bought her the various carpentry tools and taught her how to use them, citing that through her project, she aims to teach and hire as many women as she can in handcraft jobs. 

Concerning the obstacles that she faces during her journey with Bab Naa`ma, Mansour stated that the problem they still suffer from is the reluctance of some people, especially in a rural community, of accepting  the idea that a group of girls work alone in the paints of restaurants and shops.

“At first we were criticised, but as time passed and people watched and admired our work, the criticism eased and almost disappeared, but of course some people still have objections about the idea,” says Mansour.

“I look forward to opening two new workshops, one in Alexandria and the other in Cairo. Also, I dream of opening  a factory for various handcraft products,” Mansour disclosed her aspirations.

 

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Valentine’s Day: What Egyptian women really need, how they think? https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/14/valentines-day-what-egyptian-women-really-need-how-they-think/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/14/valentines-day-what-egyptian-women-really-need-how-they-think/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:30:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=689881 Women agreed that the worst gift ever in valentine, is giving money to them

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Valentine’s Day has traditionally been seen as more significant for women than for men. Although this is slowly changing, a recent study of nearly 7,000 people in the UK showed that women are around 10% more enthusiastic than men about the prospect of celebrating.

Meanwhile, concerning Egypt, the expectations for the day can run high for both men and women, but the stereotype is that women are more emotional and more caring on that day, thus Daily News Egypt investigated that topic further to learn more about what women really want and how they think of Valentine’s Day and also conducted a survey on social media and interviewed different categories of women to find out the ways women love to spend Valentine’s and gifts they like to receive.

Majority of women in Egypt love to spend Valentine’s Day outside home

Majority of women that answered the survey in Egypt, 50%, stated that they prefer to spend the Valentine’s Day outside the house. Plus, 60% stated that they prefer to go for dinner with their partner, 20% prefer to go the cinema, and 10% prefer to attend a concert with their partner, while only 10% prefer different other things.

Meanwhile, 20% stated that they prefer to travel with their partner, on the other hand 30% prefer to stay at home, of which 60% prefer to watch a film in home with their partner, 20% prefer to cook something special with their partner, 10% prefer seeing a play together, 5% voted for playing board games, with only 5% prefer relaxing.

Egyptian women average spending on Valentine’s Day

Women showed that they do not think about the Valentine gift until February, mainly all the interviewed women stated that they should buy gifts for their partners in all the relationship statuses either engaged, married, or even their boyfriends.

For her part, Amna Ahmed, who is 24-years-old, a journalist, told DNE that she bought for her boyfriend this year, a silver watch worth EGP1,200.

Meanwhile, Sandy Ali, who is 40-years-old, stated that she bought for her husband a perfume worth EGP 600.

Furthermore, the 35year–old-teacher, Hana Ali told DNE that she bought for her fiancé a silver medal worth EGP 250.

Also, a journalist who prefers to remain anonymous, told DNE that she bought her bought friend flowers in addition to different chocolates as he loves chocolates at a cost of EGP 200.

According to the survey the average spending of women who answered the survey on Valentine ranges between EGP 250 to EGP 950, depending on the social class of the women.

What Egyptian women really want on Valentine?

On the other hand, almost all the women surveyed either on social media or face-to-face asserted that it is not about the gift or its price, it’s more all about the memory and the appreciation they enjoy through getting a gift from their partners.

There were 60% of women who stated that they prefer both to spend time with their partners and to receive a gift, while 30% stated that they prefer only spending time with their partner on Valentine’s Day with only 10% preferring only to receive gifts on Valentine.

Concerning the type of the gifts that women prefer on Valentine`s Day, jewellery came in first palace, followed by the flowers, then perfumes came in third palace, followed by makeup, and last but not least, chocolates.

Meanwhile, women stated that there are some kinds of gifts that they do not prefer on Valentine’s Day agreeing on that they prefer the kind of gifts that came especially for them not for the home for example.

In terms of the undesired gifts list, home appliances topped the list, followed by toys, then electronics came in third palace.

Furthermore, they all agreed that the worst gift ever is giving money to them.

What women in Egypt think about Valentine?

The majority of women think that the Valentine’s Day is a chance for partners to improve their relationship either by getting engaged or married.

Notably, the results are based on 1,500 respondents across different governorates in Egypt through both social media survey and face-to-face interviews.

“Every relationship goes through many changes and developments, sometimes it is boring, or dominated by routine, other times it’s happy, but from time to time they both need to explain their love,” according to the life coach, Hanan Sabry.

Sabry noted that the Valentine is always a chance for both couples to refresh their relationships.

Sabry told Daily News Egypt that there is a significant rise in the divorce rate in Egypt for many reasons, which are that young men and women are not eligible for marriage. They do not fully comprehend the requirements of marriage, or the responsibilities that they must face in wedlock.

She also noted that no one in Egypt reads books about marriage before getting married.

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

Also, she pointed out that there is another problem which is that men often prefer to escape from their home and spend most of their time outside their homes, either sitting with their friends at cafés or sitting at work doing nothing, because they feel neither comfortable nor happy at home, thus women feel that they are always alone at home and therefore, this also results in fathers feeling disconnected from their children.

Moreover, Sabry highlighted that the solution to those problems is that the newly engaged  couples should take courses before marriage on being prepared for marriage, which are regularly held at mosques and churches.

In addition, she has some tips for couples after marriage to refresh marriage life and to break the routine. This includes to remain keen to participate in the interests of your partner, such as going to the gym, or to devote a day of the week to spend time together, hanging out, or making something special together. Couples may also try to form romantic moments and cherished memories, she said, in order to help them overcome their problems. “Also, read a lot of books about marriage because culturing yourself reduces the incidence of problems,” she said.

“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’ movements, thus men will be happier in their homes and will not try to spend most of their time out of them, advising all the couples to make the best memories on Valentine’s Day.

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BWE21 will hold its 5th annual conference between 23 to 26 February https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/bwe21-will-hold-its-5th-annual-conference-between-23-to-26-february/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/bwe21-will-hold-its-5th-annual-conference-between-23-to-26-february/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 13:30:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=689240 The Business women of Egypt 21 association (BWE21) announced that its fifth annual conference will be held under the title theme of Globalisation of SME’s, “She Made IT,” during the period from 23 to 26 February in the Aswan and Cairo governorates. The conference this year is held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the ministries of social solidarity, antiquities, culture, and …

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The Business women of Egypt 21 association (BWE21) announced that its fifth annual conference will be held under the title theme of Globalisation of SME’s, “She Made IT,” during the period from 23 to 26 February in the Aswan and Cairo governorates.

The conference this year is held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the ministries of social solidarity, antiquities, culture, and civil Aviation, in addition to National Council for Women.

The conference will revolve around five main themes including using modern technology to develop businesses; how to enter new markets; globalising small companies and encouraging them to export; how to discover strengths for each project, and how to crystallise the story behind your own brand for your project.

In that context, Youma El-Sherdi, chairperson of the BWE21 said that the conference also aims to provide and present successful examples of Egyptian businesswomen, in order to encourage cooperation between different countries, and to demonstrate the success of female leaders as a role model for promoting the Egyptian economy in the Middle East.

“Therefore, we are working through the conference to provide a communication programme, to establish relationships among members from different countries, to exchange ideas, and to provide a platform for sharing best practices in business to maximise benefits,” El-Sherdi explained.

“We are also working to bring together businesswomen from around the world to share their experiences and success stories with women who have SMEs,” El-Sherdi ensured.

The BWE21 is a self-financed, independent NGO striving to serve its members who come from wide range of business backgrounds, offering their expertise for the benefit of all members.

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African women face many difficulties: President of National Council for Women https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/african-women-face-many-difficulties-president-of-national-council-for-women/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/african-women-face-many-difficulties-president-of-national-council-for-women/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 13:00:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=689234 The President of the National Council for Women, Maya Morsi, said that African women face many difficulties and challenges in their lives on an ongoing basis, pointing out that the world must pay attention to them and work in their favour to give them all their rights and to help them realise their dreams and …

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The President of the National Council for Women, Maya Morsi, said that African women face many difficulties and challenges in their lives on an ongoing basis, pointing out that the world must pay attention to them and work in their favour to give them all their rights and to help them realise their dreams and ambitions.

Morsi stressed during her speech at the African ministerial consultative meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, that gender equality and women’s empowerment in all areas are essential in the African continent, pointing out that Egypt is moving toward the strategy of empowering women in sustainable development 2030.

She explained that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi launched a year for women and since then the state took the direction toward the development and empowerment of Egyptian women.

Furthermore, Morsi mentioned that Egyptian women are living their golden age currently under the patronage and attention of the present political leadership, which acknowledges the role of Egyptian women, pointing out that Egyptian women represent 25% of the Egyptian government.

 

  

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Women’s brains four years younger than men’s brains: study https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/womens-brains-four-years-younger-than-mens-brains-study/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/womens-brains-four-years-younger-than-mens-brains-study/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:35:29 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=689233 Scientists have just discovered a new distinction between the brains of the two sexes: age-related changes to the brain occur more slowly in women than in men. The brains of women are four years younger than men, and that difference occurs since early adulthood and lasts until old age, according to a study by researchers …

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Scientists have just discovered a new distinction between the brains of the two sexes: age-related changes to the brain occur more slowly in women than in men.

The brains of women are four years younger than men, and that difference occurs since early adulthood and lasts until old age, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington.

The researchers found that healthy women have more lucid brains than men. In addition they uncovered that females live longer than males, and that their memories and mental strengths persist for a long time at old age.

This difference could be why women tend to stay mentally sharp for a longer duration than men, researchers said.

“We’re just starting to understand how various sex-related factors might affect the trajectory of brain ageing, and how that might influence the vulnerability of the brain to neurodegenerative diseases,” said neuroscientist Manu Goyal of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

“Brain metabolism might help us understand some of the differences we see between men and women as they age,” added Goyal.

Scientists had already established that age-related grey matter volume decrease occurs more quickly in male brains than in female brains. It has also been demonstrated that gene expression in the brain changes more rapidly in ageing men than women, resulting in a reduced ability to build and break down molecules in the male brain.

These pieces of evidence are suggestive of a form of neoteny in the female brain, (assuming male brains as the baseline, which is something scientists do), but no one had looked at metabolism – how the brain runs on glucose – until now.

The scientists used a brain scanning technique called positron emission tomography to measure the flow of oxygen and glucose in the brains of 121 women and 84 men aged 20 to 82. The scans revealed how sugar was being turned into energy in different parts of the volunteers’ brains.

In babies and young children, a process called aerobic glycolysis is increased to grow and mature the developing brain. It is scaled down in adolescents and young adults, then drops steadily in older people until it reaches a very low level by the time people reach their 60s.

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Say No to FGM: campaign calling for zero tolerance to FGM launched across Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/say-no-to-fgm-campaign-calling-for-zero-tolerance-to-fgm-launched-across-egypt/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/02/08/say-no-to-fgm-campaign-calling-for-zero-tolerance-to-fgm-launched-across-egypt/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 11:00:13 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=689191 To coincide with the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on 6 February, the anti-FGM organisation, 28 Too Many, in partnership with the Rofayda Hospital Group and Tadwein in Egypt, announced on Wednesday the launch of its Zero Tolerance Ribbon against FGM. The ribbon will be given to the parents of …

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To coincide with the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on 6 February, the anti-FGM organisation, 28 Too Many, in partnership with the Rofayda Hospital Group and Tadwein in Egypt, announced on Wednesday the launch of its Zero Tolerance Ribbon against FGM.

The ribbon will be given to the parents of all newborn baby girls’ at Rofayda hospitals across Egypt, along with their birth certificates, and a pledge urging parents to sign that they will not practice FGM on their daughters.

More than 200 million girls and women have been affected by FGM globally, and with an FGM prevalence of 87.2% in a population of nearly 95 million, Egypt has the greatest number of women and girls who have experienced FGM of any country in the world. Since at least 2008, there has been a significant shift in Egypt away from traditional practitioners and toward health professionals performing FGM.

For her part, Ann-Marie Wilson, founder and executive director of 28 Too Many stated that even though laws prohibiting FGM in Egypt have existed since 2008, the prevalence here is still extremely high, and in most cases in Egypt, FGM is carried out by medical professionals.

“By launching this campaign with the Rofayda Hospital Group, we are not only putting across the message of Zero Tolerance to FGM, but also to the medicalisation of FGM. Several young girls have died whilst undergoing medicalised FGM in Egypt, and we believe that the launch of this ribbon today will be a huge step in ending this practice,” she added.

Unlike traditional awareness ribbons, which follow a similar design with different colours for various issues or causes, the Zero Tolerance Ribbon will be flipped upside down. The meaning behind this symbol is two-fold. Firstly, this ribbon stands against an issue, the opposite of what traditional ribbons stand for. Secondly, and more importantly, the design of the ribbon is based on how the word ‘NO’ is written in Arabic, allowing it to become a new universal symbol and powerful statement in Arabic. The ribbon is coloured in a unique shade of blue – the colour blue is a symbol of justice, protection, virtue, and truth in Egypt and is considered a sign of safety and protection in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Amira Edris from Rofadya Health Park, one of the hospitals from the Rofayda Hospital Group, commented: “The role of our doctors will be to educate new parents on the danger of FGM, even if carried out by a medical professional. We want to encourage parents to join our pledge and protect the rights and dignity of a future generation of women and girls.”

On 6 February, the Zero Tolerance Ribbon distributed to all Rofayda Hospital Group hospitals through 28 Too Many’s non-governmental organisation’s (NGO) partner Tadwein, and used by organisations in Egypt and across the world as a symbol of Zero Tolerance to FGM, with further plans to roll this out in all hospitals in Egypt in the coming months.

Accordingly, the Population Council conducted a research to support the abolishment of female circumcision in Egypt, through a study to eliminate the phenomenon of FGM in Egypt, called “No to circumcision: designing and implementing more effective social marketing campaigns to support the abolishment of FGM in Egypt”. The two studies were conducted in coordination with the ministry of health and the National Population Council.

The results of the studies revealed that the rates of female circumcision in Egypt are declining, where the percentage of circumcisions reached 92% among married women between the ages of 15-49. The percentage dropped to 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 between the ages of 15-49 years-old.

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

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.

Although previous campaigns against FGM succeeded in reaching a large percentage of the population, especially females, and were equally successful in raising awareness of the harms of circumcision and its negative health and psychological effects, as well as created social dialogue among target groups, however, Abdel Tawab asserted that personal contact has proven to be more effective in changing behaviour to overcome the fear of societal consequences which can result from the abolishment of female circumcision, as well as conflicting views among influential community individuals, such as doctors and religious people.

Hence, the focus of the next phase is empowering families to overcome concerns regarding the abolishment of FGM and creating a supportive environment to achieve it.

Abdel Tawab stressed the need to consolidate efforts to work toward eradicating FGM, urging all governmental 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 affect the decision to circumcise females, she declared.

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Fervid quarrel between women, men over ‘Let her become spinster’ campaign https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/31/fervid-quarrel-between-women-men-over-let-her-become-spinster-campaign/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/31/fervid-quarrel-between-women-men-over-let-her-become-spinster-campaign/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 10:00:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688588 Men frustrated by marriage expenses, or retort to latest reforms to family laws?

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Men: “since marriage has become an expensive concept most young men cannot afford and since women are ok with that and do not want to abandon this senselessness… so ‘Khaliha Ta`nes’ (which means ‘let her become a spinster.’)

Women: “And you think that we’re going to be upset when you let us become ‘spinsters?’ Guess what?! We’re going to ululate, since you are not right for us.”

This dialogue is not an imaginary, but a realistic combative conversation that took place which recently went viral on social media platforms between Egyptian females and males under two different hashtags.

The dispute started on last Thursday when men launched a campaign called ‘let her become a spinster,’ expressing through it their dissatisfaction with the rising cost of marriage expenses.

Men used the hashtag ‘let her become a spinster’ to state that they are going to boycott Women noticed that men started using macho hashtags, and were insulting women through their tweets.

Accordingly, women in Egypt recoiled to the campaign, and initiated another campaign called ‘stay on your mom’s laps.’ The retaliatory hashtag saw hundreds of women hit back at the insults that were hurled toward them.

Therefore Daily News Egypt investigated further into this social, masculine conflict that is occurring on social media, to receive extra information regarding the opinion of the Egyptian street on both campaigns, and to reveal the reasons behind the campaigns.

Men argue that the main reason behind the ‘let her become a spinster campaign,’ is to overcome pointless marital traditions

After interviewing many men who agree with this campaign, DNE learnt that men argue that the main reason behind agreeing with the ‘let her become a spinster’ campaign is to overcome the pointless marriage traditions.

For example, 30-year-old, Mohamed Ahmed, a banker, described to DNE that when he got engaged to one of his colleagues in the bank, he was surprised when he met her father who then proceeded to demand from him, a 210m apartment in October which cost  him EGP200,000,  as well as a ‘shabka,’ -jewellery granted by the man before he is engaged to the woman he wishes to marry- worth EGP 70,000, and a dowry of EGP 70,000.

“I agreed in all these demands, however stated I was not convinced with them, but since I loved y colleague I agreed, but  then I was surprised again by a new demand which is a final dowry worth EGP120,000,” Ahmed continued.

“He insisted on the number; however I would not pay it currently since as you know it is e paid if I decide to divorce my wife. Still, I refused to write this number on the marriage contract, and I explained to him that whoever wants to get divorce will not think of money as by that time we will already have lost everything,” Ahmed recalled.

“But unfortunately, he told me ‘that’s our way of guaranteeing that our can daughter can recover her old life if she loses you through this small amount of money,” he narrated sadly.

Ahmed concluded that at the time he thought that his father-in-law saw his daughter as a commodity, and that even if a problem occurred in the

Founder of women of Egypt, Alexandra Kinias

marriage, all he focused on was the money, so he decided to cancel the marriage and boycotted marriage.

“That is why I think this campaign is the only way to put pressure on families to reduce the burden of marriage on youth,” he clarified.

By telling him that this campaign is degrading to women since it characterises them with a misogynist word which is ‘spinster,’ he answered that their families own themselves call them this word if they did not marry until later in adulthood. Plus, he thinks that the hashtag was only to reach families in the same way they talk, but they did not mean to degrade women, noting that the target of this campaign are families themselves not women.

Agreeing with Ahmed, Ali Kamel, who is 26-years-old, expressed to DNE that he faced a similar problem when he proposed his colleague at university, because her parents rejected him as he did not own a luxurious apartment, nor did he have enough money.

Women backfire and launch ‘stay on your mom’s laps

It was refreshing to watch the aftermath of this campaign and how it was received by women, which went against men’s wildest imaginations, and revealed that women did not care.

On the contrary, they encouraged and challenged men to do so, launching on Monday a rebound campaign to reciprocate the insults that were hurled at them.

Discussing the campaign with women27-year-old journalist Hanya Fathy declared to DNE that she completely refuses completely the ‘let her become a  spinster’ campaign, explaining that this campaign humiliates women, as “women are not objects, and are not in an auction to be sold to the one who pay more,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Nour Salah, 25, also a journalist, expressed to DNE that although the campaign’s content is sarcastic yet it is intrinsically established in the term spinsterhood, which is of course completely misogynist, and makes men far removed from the idea of equality.

Furthermore, Alaa Sayed, 26, an engineer, said that if the campaign’s goal is to overcome the high cost of marriage, so men have to direct the campaign against the markets and business which control and raise the prices, instead of humiliating women this way.

Campaigns reinforce the concepts of violence against women: Women’s rights organisations

Meanwhile, the Cairo Development and Law Foundation and the Arab House Research Centre stated in a joint press statement that these types of campaigns are an expression of a societal culture rooted in the concepts of violence against women through attempts to reduce them to their bodies, ignoring their roles in society, limiting their roles only to marriage, which confirms the negative stereotypical view of women.

Women’s right advocate reveals another side for the campaign

Commenting on the campaign, the founder of Women of Egypt, Alexandra Kinas, disclosed to DNE that it was launched to humiliate and degrade women, proving over and again how men are threatened by women’s equality and empowerment.

She explained that the reason is they have been enjoying rights they inherited from their ancestors, which gives them a superior status over women, certain that this status allows them to abuse women verbally, physically, financially, emotionally, etc. without being held accountable nor do they have any awareness of the damages they inflict upon women.

“Why would they want any change that would deprive them of the luxury of being a man? If you peel the layers beyond the absurd justification for the campaign, (there is no justification to use rude and humiliating label for it, no matter what) — they claimed that it was launched because men are fed up with the escalating marriage expenses,” Kinias stated.

“However, the truth is that this campaign came as a reaction to the latest amendments to the family laws proposed by the Egyptian National Council of Women, which both improve some of the current existing laws and issues news laws for women’s protection,” she explained.

“A law that forces men to submit a DNA test to prove their paternity definitely is in women’s favour. How many women are suffering to register their children born out of undocumented marriages, because the alleged father are guaranteed immunity if they choose not to take a DNA test? Do you think men will celebrate a law that would hold them accountable for their actions? A law that would make them think twice before they marry urfi and simply walk away and wash their hands of their responsibility?”questioned Kinas.

Furthermore, Kinas added that an abusive husband can no longer take his child out of the country without his ex-wife’s knowledge, just to punish her for divorcing him, as in the case we witnessed last month.

Moreover, she remarked that now a man could no longer force a woman to accept his unjust treatment because she is threatened he would steal her child from her. A wife should not be forced to stay in a dysfunctional abusive relationship because the threat of being thrown out in the street looms over her head. You see, the new proposed law empowers women and that did not sit well with men. So, their defensive instinct immediately launched a campaign that humiliates women. That is what they are used to, and that is why women should not rest until they get all their rights.

The founder of Women of Egypt stressed that women’s awareness of their rights and the important roles they are playing in society is increasing, and along with their financial independence, they are realising that they are no longer looking for a husband just to find someone to support them, but rather more of a life partner.

“In other words, men’s tricks didn’t work this time and the obnoxious campaign not only died within hours after it was born, but men were dissociating themselves from it. It stigmatised those who approved it,” Kinas asserted.

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‘Women of Egypt’ announces launch of its first writing contest for Egyptian children https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/31/women-of-egypt-announces-launch-of-its-first-writing-contest-for-egyptian-children/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/31/women-of-egypt-announces-launch-of-its-first-writing-contest-for-egyptian-children/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 09:30:11 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=688586 Competition starts on 15 January, closes on 15 February 2019

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‘Women of Egypt’ is announcing the launch of its first Writing Contest for worldwide Egyptian children aged between 3 and 16. The contest starts on 15 January 2019 and closes on 15 February 2019.

For her part, Dina Al Mahdy, contest coordinator, told DNE that contest’s goal is to discover and celebrate Egyptian children’s creative writing, in English or Arabic, and to get them excited about reading and writing by encouraging them no matter what their background, education, or lack thereof.

Regarding the applications process, Al-Mahdy said that the rules of the entry include only one entry per child,  and single author stories (no co-authors), adding that the story must be the child’s original work, noting that the story could be fact or fiction (short story, prose, or poetry).

She added that the text must be typed and sent as a word document by email, having said that, the children who cannot write yet may dictate their story to be typed and sent as a word document by email, elaborating that the children can also include drawings and photos in a separate JPEG or PDF file, noting that drawings and photos are optional and will not be evaluated as part of the contest.

She confirmed that invented creative spelling is accepted.

Al-Mahdy further explained that the contest will include three age groups; 3-5, 6-11 and 12-16. Nine winners will be selected for each language, three from each age group.

“The winners of the Arabic contest will be offered prizes from Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah Publishing House. Diwan Bookstore will provide the prizes for the winners of the English contest. All publications of the contest will be designed by Shadi Ghonim, One Shot founder,” she added.

By asking her about the jury, she stated that the selection of the winners will be chosen by a panel of nine  judges from Egypt and the US, highlighting that the  judges are Samah Abou Bakr, children’s author; Mona El-Namoury, assistant professor, writer and translator; Zeinab Mobarak, fiction and play-writer and translator; Rania Amin, children’s author and translator; Myriam Rizkallah, children’s author and translator; herself Dina Al-Mahdy, writer and literary translator; Marcia Lynx Qualey, children’s author, book critic and translator; Karen Leggett Abouraya, children’s author, and Alexandra Kinias, fiction and screenplay-writer, content editor and writing coach.

Finally, she declared that the winners will be announced in June 2019, empathising that winning entries will be published in e-books in July 2019.

Noteworthy, the contest is sponsored by Diwan Bookstore and Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah Publishing House; Art Partner, and One Shot for Photography and Advertising.

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Today marks fourth anniversary of iconic feminism actress https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/today-marks-fourth-anniversary-of-iconic-feminism-actress/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/today-marks-fourth-anniversary-of-iconic-feminism-actress/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=687111 She addressed, presented many controversial issues

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Thursday 17 January marks the fourth anniversary of the death of the iconic star, Faten Hamama, who is still remembered as the iconic figure of Egyptian cinema that addressed every issue encountered by Egyptian women.

She addressed and presented many controversial issues such as domestic violence, inequality, problems in education, harassment, and other issues related to women. Hamama was the first to explore these challenges in her roles.

On the ultimate Egyptian women’s anniversary memory, Daily News Egypt decided to celebrate her anniversary in different way by presenting some of her films, where she shed light on various women’s issues.

Du’aa Al-Karawan (The Nightingale’s Prayer)

Du’aa Al-Karawan (The Nightingale’s Prayer), was released in 1959 and directed by Henry Barakat.

Through the film, Hamama addressed the issue of the sexual exploitation of domestic servants in depth, through playing the role of the character of a rebellious rural girl called Amna, who resists the customs and traditions of Upper Egypt, where she defies women’s oppression, especially in that area of the country.

Amna’s sister, Hanady, was working as a servant for a bachelor irrigation engineer. She fell in love with him, then he promised to marry her, then he developed a sexual relationship with her.

After becoming pregnant, Hanaday told her mother that she had a sexual relationship with the engineer, then the news reached her uncle, who killed Hanady in front of her sister Amna.

Thus Amna wanted revenge for her sister from the engineer, so she devised a plan to obtain her sister’s right.

The film dealt with the issue of society’s injustice toward women, in matters of honour, and how females become the only culprits who are punished, even through losing their lives at times, while no one judges or punishes men.

The story was inspired by the novel of renowned Arab writer Taha Hussein, and the film was ranked sixth among the top 10 films in the history of Egyptian cinema.

“Ostaza Fatma” (Professor Fatima)

The film was released in 1952, directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab, and written by Aly El Zarakany. It discussed the idea of working women and the belief crisis in women’s ability to achieve success.

It revolves around Fatma and Adel, who studied law together and loved each other. They then both opened their own law firms, but Fatma was not as successful as Adel in the profession because clients did not believe in women’s competence to work as lawyers.

Despite Adel’s lack of faith in Fatma’s proficiency as a lawyer, he asked her to defend him after he was accused of murder.

Fatma saw this as an opportunity to prove herself as a lawyer, capable of winning difficult cases.

Hamama, through this film, dealt with the problem of the community’s lack of confidence in female employees in general, and in female lawyers in particular.

The heroine proved that women can be as successful as men. In the film, she won the murder case.

Hamama, through her portrayal as Fatma in the movie, called for equality between men and women, and proved that women are able to bear the work and pressure loads, and that they can outperform some of men at work.

“Afwah wa Araneb” (Mouths and Rabbits)

The film was produced in 1977, directed by Henry Barakat, and written by Samir Abdul Azim.

The film discussed two important issues: the first was forcing girls to marry in order to solve family financial burdens, while the second was the issue of family planning.

Hamama in that film embodied the role of Nemat, who worked at a farm to earn a living for her family. She was also financially responsible for her sister, her husband, and their children. Her sister then surprised her by saying that her family also wants to eliminate poverty in their own way, through an agreement with an elderly illiterate poultry dealer marrying Nemat.

According to the deal, the marriage will happen if he will in return provide a good life for them and provide employment for other family members. Nemat learned of the agreement by chance when she told her sister that she loved someone.

The film also deals with the issue of family planning through giving indications that Nemat’s sister suffers significantly due to having a lot of children.

“Orid Hallan” (I Need A Solution)

This film is considered one of the most effective films which positively influenced society and the law.

The movie paved the way to changing the Personal Status Law in Egypt after its screening, to the extent that frmer president Anwar Al-Sadat and his wife Gehan decided to change the Personal Status Law in 1987, making several amendments to the legislation.

The film, released in 1975, was directed and written by Said Marzouk. Its story revolves around Doria, who works as a translator in a newspaper. She asked for a divorce from her diplomat husband Medhat, which he declined to give her, so she went to court to file a divorce case.

Doria subsequently fights the divorce battle in the midst of her husband’s tricks and the Personal Status Law.

Hamama, through the character of Doria, represented the experience of a woman who suffers to get a divorce under the unfair Personal Status Law, and throughout the film, Doria demanded that the law treat her as an equal to men.

Emberatoriet Meem (Empire M)

Emberatoriet Meem was released in 1972, directed by Hussein Kamal, and written by Ehsan Abd El Kodos.

The movie concerns itself with widows’ struggles through the character of Mona, who strives to be both a father and a mother for her children, especially when the children are teenagers.

Mona, in the film, works as an executive in the Ministry of Education. She falls in love with a man named Ahmed, who proposes to her. However, she becomes torn between her children’s refusal of her possible new marriage and her love for Ahmed.

Mona reflects the character of a strong woman who bears the hardships of life, but also enjoys life at the same time.

The film treats a very important issue, which is women’s forfeiture of remarriage due to their children.

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Men, women remember pain differently https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/men-women-remember-pain-differently/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/men-women-remember-pain-differently/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:00:04 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=687102 Women better able to handle pain than men, new study suggests.

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A new study challenges the archaic myth that men are tougher in handling pain than women, revealing that women and men do not recall previous pain in the same manner, noting that women forget, men do not.

 In the study entitled “Male-Specific Conditioned Pain Hypersensitivity in Mice and Humans,” a team of researchers from Montreal and Toronto universities in Canada, explained that although women are slightly more sensitive to physical pain in general, men remember it to a greater extent and are more likely to be increasingly stressed when dealing with the same pain in the future. 

Further findings of the study which was published last week in the Current Biology journal, are expected to revolutionise the field of pain research, and could lead to improved treatments for chronic pain.

In turn, Jeffrey Mogil, a professor in the Psychology Department at McGill University and co-author of the study, stated that what is really interesting about the results is that if you were going to make a guess about there being a sex difference here, almost everyone — including him — would have guessed the opposite results.

“Men are supposed to be stoic and macho and women don’t have to be, and so if anyone is going to admit to being stressed on Day Two it should be women. But it wasn’t. It was the men,” he added.

Moreover, the researchers experimented on lab mice and humans, and noted similar results. The researchers applied low levels of heat to the hind paws of the mice. For the 41 men and 38 women on whom the experiment was carried, the heat was administered to their forearms.

In order to look at the role which memory plays in the experience of pain, the mice soon after received an injection of vinegar designed to cause a stomach ache for about 30 minutes. The human test subjects wore a tightly inflated blood-pressure cuff and exercised their arms for 20 minutes, experiencing a short-lived yet excruciating pain.

On the following day the subjects returned to either the same or a different one, or to the same or a different testing container. Heat was once again applied to their arms or hind paws.

When (and only when) they were taken into the same room as in the previous test, the men rated the heat pain higher than they did the day before, and higher than the women did. Similarly, male, but not female mice returning to the same environment exhibited a heightened heat pain response, while mice placed in a new and neutral environment did not.

The outcomes also suggested that memory plays a role in chronic pain.

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People say dream big, but one Egyptian woman believes first work hard, then dream big https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/10/people-say-dream-big-but-one-egyptian-woman-believes-first-work-hard-then-dream-big/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/10/people-say-dream-big-but-one-egyptian-woman-believes-first-work-hard-then-dream-big/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 07:00:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686334 Cheerful female voice spreads love, happiness among couples

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There are currently several unique ideas designed for engagement and wedding ceremonies, as the celebrations themselves become more elaborate and modern. Since the beginning of the ceremony remains the most important part, a 24-year-old female broke with traditional rites of celebration, launching ‘Kosha Tale’, the first voiceover project for weddings and engagements which produces an audio track for couples’ fairytale festivities by mixing her voiceover with songs and comedic parts from films, as well as presenting the most important characteristics of the bride and groom’s personalities.

Hence, Daily News Egypt interviewed Yousra Tawfik, the founder of Kosha Tale, to discover more about her journey with Kosha Tale, the services that it provides, in addition to the challenges that she faced in her journey.

Notably, Tawfik graduated from the faculty of Mass Communication, the English section, Cairo University. Since she was a child, Tawfik used to receive feedback from her friends and family that her voice was cheerful, therefore she decided to utilise her voice in her Kosha Tale project.

Kosha Tale provides the couples with voice over track on CDS

Making people happy is Kosha Tale’s goal

Tawfik started narrating to DNE her journey with Kosha Tale by stating that that her dream since she was a child was to be a radio presenter.

“I used to close my room door, allowing no one to enter, writing a paper for them that I am on air. Accordingly recording audios has been my hobby since I was child,” she said with a glint in her eyes.

“When two of my close friends got engaged, and I wanted to prepare for them something to show them how much I was happy for them and that I loved them, especially since both the bride and the groom were my friends, I started thinking of any non-traditional way to make them happy. Everyone else were creating collages with pictures for them or writing posts for them on Facebook. However, I told myself I know that the best thing I am good at in life is speaking into the microphone, so let me record their fairytale love story and then I published the track on my account on Facebook,” Tawfik happily recounted.

She then continued to say that surprisingly she found that the track went viral on Facebook and that it received very positive feedback, even from people that she did not know, noting that what also made her happy at that period in time was that the couple used the track in the opening service of their engagement ceremony.

“The situation passed, and I did not really think deeply that I could use this success and transform it into a project. Then, following my graduation from mass communication in 2016, I applied to work as a radio presenter in different institutions, however I was rejected due to my lack of working years of experience,” she revealed a tangible problem which fresh graduates presently face.

“At the same time, another two of my friends got engaged, so then I also decided to record their fairytale story in a track, but this time I considered launching a project for wedding voiceovers. I started it in August 2016, and I called it as Kosha Tale” she recalled with a smile on her face. (Kosha in Arabic means an elaborately decorated bride and groom settee which they lounge in during the wedding ceremony)

Concerning the name Kosha Tale, Tawfik said she choose the name as it clearly expresses the concept of the bride and groom during the ceremony, ‘Kosha’, in addition to the storytelling, ‘Tale’.

She mentioned that the idea itself is strange, so she wanted to express it in a straightforward name to convey the idea simply.

After that, she declared, she launched a Facebook page, and put the track on the page, indicating that she was surprised by how fast the track spread.

Tawfik remarked that this project’s main goal from is to spread happiness among people, calling attention to the fact that she was sending an indirect message through this project to fresh graduates that through hard work they can create professional work if they get the chance or opportunity.

In terms of marketing, Tawfik articulated that her only current marketing channel are the shares of her tracks by her friends and family on social media, revealing it as the power of social media.

Tawfik noted that Kosha Tale tracks reached over 50,500 plays on sound cloud until now, and that the Facebook page attained 7,500 likes.

Kosha Tale cooperated with sand drawing man to present a live show in the ceremonies for the couples` fairy tale through drawing on sand.

Tawfik thinks outside the box

Tawfik voiced that she expanded her project to include presenting the couples’ fairytale story through a sand drawing show in wedding or engagement ceremonies.

She stated that she cooperated with a man who drew on sand and presented a live show in wedding and engagement ceremonies the couples’ fairytale story through drawing it on sand, with Tawfik’s voiceover in the background.

“I always express that I act in Kosha Tale like a tailor who customises the couples’ stories, therefore I thought about having the sand drawing as it is very personalised art,” she explained further.

“Every couple always see that their story is different from any other couple, and this is true as their love story with its details will never be repeated, while the first song or show could be repeated in any ceremony, that is why I think this what distinguishes my project, and accordingly I think that I am a designer who adjusts the track according to the couple’s unique story,” she claimed.

“The sand drawing idea came to me when my brother got married to Russian woman. Their story is diverse as she is from Russian and he is from Egypt and now both of them live in Germany. They both met in Germany but then they got married in Denmark. Their story includes several languages and countries, and this inspired me to create for them a track. However, I realised the bride will not understand the Arabic language as well as the part of the films or songs as she is not a native Arabic speaker,” Tawfik elaborated.

At that moment, Tawfik decided to craft for them a sand drawing live show during their wedding as through this sand drawing the bride’s family and bride herself will not misread Tawfik’s surprise.

Most powerful love tale that Tawfik listened to

Throughout the two years that Tawfik has been creating countless tracks for couples, when discussing the most powerful love story she heard, Tawfik imparted that it was the love story of Maha and Bassam.

She disclosed that this couple had an accident the night before their weeding which led them both to enter the intensive care suffering from severe injuries. Of course, they delayed their wedding for a year.

“After a year, they had their wedding ceremony, but I changed the whole track to represent their story throughout this year, neglecting the part before the accident,” she said.

“Sometimes we need to test our relationship to ensure that our choice was right, by going through difficult times, but the test for this couple came on the night before their wedding, which made their story the most difficult and powerful love story that I have come across throughout the two years,” Tawfik commented.

Humanity is key setting behind the Kosha Tales settings

The Kosha Tale’s founder admitted that in her work she most enjoyed the events that happened behind the scenes. She realized how people love each other, and she also noticed that love is not only for lovers, but it also for friends, it is also for friends who may even love each other better than lovers, and for mothers or fathers who sacrifice their lives for their children.

“Among the situations that I cannot forget, was when one day a father asked me to make a Kosha Tale track for his seven-year-old daughter. I replied that Kosha Tale is for couples. I was actually very surprised when I learned that he wants to create for his daughter from such a young age a Kosha Tale since he and his wife are very old people so perhaps they are not sure if they could live long enough to witness their daughter on her wedding day, so they want to create for her a Kosha Tale track from now to express to her in it how much they love her, and they wanted to leave with her this moment,” she recalled.

She also remembered another situation when a bride asked Tawfik not to mention the price of the Kosha Tale service to her groom, so as to decrease the wedding costs for him, affirming that if he knew the real price of the service he would definitely pay it, but she wanted to cut down the costs for him.

Tawfik added that customers need to reserve for the service two months before the ceremony, but unfortunately once before a bride called her asking to reserve before the wedding with a very short notice period, thus she apologised to her and told her she could not crate the track in that short time.

What Tawfik could not forget was when she found one of the bride’s friends calling her, offering to help her as she worked in exchange for Tawfik creating the track, just to make her friend happy.

“At that time, I realised how can people offer to do anything, just to make their beloved ones happy,” she said with a cheerful smile.

Kosha Tale tracks achieved more than 50,500 play on sound cloud until now.

Kosha Tale changes its founder’s opinion on love

Each job affects its employees, impacting the views and opinions, as society around employees constantly sways them, but in Tawfik’s case, she is surrounded by the love energy of the couples that could influence her opinions and views on the topic of love.

This exactly what happened with Tawfik after listening to different cheerful and painful love stories that ended with marriage: she completely changed her mindset about the topic of love.

“Before Kosha Tale, when I listened to any love story, I would recall the image of the heroic prince or white knight in fairy tales who often rides a white horse and that will make the world shine bright and make all my wishes come true. But after listening to different stories, I realised that love is in the details that we see in normal daily routines, and that now after loving someone we love this daily routine just because our significant other is present in these details,” she lovingly said.

She phrased that love is when you love your life, just because of the presence of your significant other, even if these details are not the best ones.

Challenges and aspirations

Tawfik divulged that at first she faced many challenges including technical problems such as not knowing how to produce a purified sound, nor how to edit the voiceover in order to mix it with song, among others.

She professed that she overcome these problems by taking classes, auditions, courses, workshops, in addition to resorting to YouTube to find out step-by-step how to do everything she needed to learn to do.

On that note, she conveyed that she kept trying to develop her voice through workshops, courses, and that she tried to listen to every tiny feedback, with the aim of improving herself through the feedback she received.

She also noted that she is one of the lucky ones, as she has a very supportive family and a support system of friends, giving an example that her mother who works as a journalist used to help her with her opinion in the scripts.

“On the anniversary of Kosha Tale, my friends supported me by collecting all the feedback that Kosha Tale received and printed them on two charts, and hung them in my room, ” She said happily.

“There are many times when I felt down and stressed, but I always overcame this feeling through the love of my family and friends. Previously, I had left the media career and worked in a well reputed institution, looking for stability. Actually I found stability, but I missed being me. Thus, this made me leave that job and return back to Kosha Tale, despite receiving a very good performance appraisal,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“I will never stop doing what I love. I aim to expand Kosha Tale services, and I plan to make it even more comprehensive with voiceovers to cover different moments-not just weddings-weddings will be just a section, but I will add to it for example birthdays, baby showers, and more,” she declared.

Tawfik finally confided that Kosha Tale is merely a stepping stone on the path toward her big dream that she is working toward which is to become a radio presenter.

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Egyptian women in 365 days https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/03/egyptian-women-in-365-days/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/03/egyptian-women-in-365-days/#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 13:00:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685865 Year has passed where women accomplished great deal, yet challenges still remain, anticipating new year to deal with them

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With a new year starting on Tuesday accompanied by fresh hopes, regarding women’s rights around the world in general but in Egypt specifically, we could not consider the hopes and demands for new year before determining where Egyptian women stand.

Thus, Daily News Egypt presents in this report the most important events which took place throughout the year related to women’s rights chronologically (distributing the year into quarters).

Following the most prominent events this year, it was found that it was a stalemate year, especially in terms of laws, but at the same time it witnessed a remarkable movement and resistance against sexual harassment.

January, golden month for Egyptian women

By going back to the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, it was noticed that January was the golden month for Egyptian women as it witnessed two major achievements.

On 1 January, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi approved the amendments to the Inheritance Law No 77 for the year 1943, imposing strict sanctions on those who disinherit members of a family, particularly women, from receiving their rightful shares. This law is the first to protect women’s rights to their inheritance.  

On 5 December, the Egyptian Parliament finally approved the amendments submitted by the government to Inheritance Law No 77 for the year 1943. Under these amendments, punishment of at least three years in prison and a fine ranging between EGP 20,000 to 100,000 (around $1,119-$5,595) will be imposed on those who violate this Law. 

To those who withhold a document proving a person’s legal right to an inheritance or refrain from handing over this document, they shall be sentenced to six months in prison and will be fined at least EGP 20,000. If the violation is repeated, the perpetrator will be sentenced to at least one year in jail.

As mentioned before, January was women’s golden month throughout 2018, thus on 14 January, Egypt witnessed for the first time in its history a cabinet reshuffle by former prime minister Sherif Ismail, with six female ministers occupying seats in the cabinet, representing nearly 20% of the cabinet, after choosing Inas Abdel-Dayem as the new minister of culture over Helmy el-Namnam and Rania al-Mashat that has replaced minister of tourism yahia Rashid.

In addition to having four women continuing in their seats in the cabinet, including Ghada Wali, minister of solidarity, Sahar Nasr, minister of investment and international cooperation, Nabila Makram, minister of immigration, and Hala Al- Saeed, minister of planning.

Q2 of 2018

In April, Egypt’s parliament approved a law regulating the National Council for Women (NCW), bringing it in line with the 2014 constitution and international conventions signed by Egypt.

Among the most prominent provisos stipulated in the law of organising the work of the NCW, is that the council is independent, follows the president and enjoys legal constitution, and enjoys technical, financial and administrative independence in the exercise of its functions, activities, and competences.

The law also defined the general objective of the NCW which are protect and promote women’s rights and freedoms, in addition to being responsible for ensuring that Egyptian women are treated on an equal footing with men in terms of political, economic, social, and cultural rights.

Moving to June, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi swore in a new government, two weeks after being re-elected in a vote, and the new cabinet came with great news for Egyptian women, as it witnessed for the first time in Egypt`s history the presence of eight female ministries.

The newly appointed female ministers are Hala Zayed for the health ministry succeeding Ahmed Emad el-Din, and Yasmine Fouad as minister of environment, succeeding Khaled Fahmy. They two newly appointed ministers, in addition to six female ministers who occupied seats in the outgoing cabinet, represent nearly 25% of the cabinet.

Sexual harassment is the most commonly used term in Q3 of 2018

Egypt appointed a Christian women for the first time as a governor, as Damietta’s governor.

Also, the Supreme Judicial Council approved the appointment of Hassna’a Shaaban Abdullah, the former vice-president of the Court of Appeals, as the head of the economic court in Tanta, thus becoming the first female judge to preside over a court in Egypt.

Noteworthy, on a daily basis, Egyptian women and girls are face diverse forms of sexual of violence in the streets of Egypt, public and private places, transportation and workplaces. It could be verbal or physical harassment, and sometimes it escalates even to rape. What’s more, women are usually blamed by society for being subjected to such behaviour. They are accused of ‘provoking’ men either by their outfits or via their comportment.

Meanwhile, August was the month of talking about sexual harassment either in the workplace or outside it.

On 14 August, an Egyptian woman published a video which she filmed, while she was standing in the street, as a man passing by stopped and “offered her a coffee.” She wrote “is this really happening in the Fifth Settlement district!”

The video rapidly went viral on Facebook, receiving thousands of comments and shares. Some people attacked her for posting the video and documenting the event, accusing her of attracting attention over a “situation not worth this hassle,” while others, mostly women, were supportive of her move.

The same woman published another video featuring another man at the same spot. The video showed this second man sitting in his car and saying, “Come in and ride with us.” He left his car and stood in front of her and when he realised he was being filmed, he left. The woman has not been filmed in both videos she posted on her Facebook account.

The first man who was featured in the viral video has received huge support from his peers. He published a video to explain what happened from his point of view. “I believe I did not commit a mistake,” he said, adding, “When she (the woman who accused him of harassment) refused (my request) I offered my apologies and left. I did not bother her, nor did I do something inappropriate.”

He moved on to say, “I asked her for a coffee because she was standing in the street and I didn’t want anyone to bother her,” he added, “(her appearance) was really provocative. Therefore, I offered my request.”

Moreover, he believes that the situation “grabbed more attention than it really deserved. I don’t think my behaviour in this situation could be considered as harassment.”

What was new in that incident, as in any incident there are two opinions, one supports the woman while the other accuses her due to her outfit, but surprisingly this incident generated another point of view which was that this was only filtration.

In the end of August, in view of this incident and many other sexual incidents, Al-Azhar announced that sexual harassment in any form was deviant behaviour and rejected any attempt to blame the way some women dress or behave.

Al-Azhar asserts that criminalising harassment and those who commit harassment must be absolute and without any condition or context.

Al-Azhar’s statement rejected any attempt to blame women for sexual harassment, saying abuse “violates women’s privacy, freedom and human dignity”.

Al-Azhar demanded the activation of all laws that punish sexual abuse and called for efforts to raise social awareness.

At the beginning of September, a journalist at privately-owned Youm 7 newspaper, called Mai Elshamy, who had filled a lawsuit to the prosecution accusing the executive editor, Dandrawy Elhawary, of physically and verbally harassing her inside the newsroom.

Throughout that period, several social media users and public figures, as well as feminist organisations demonstrated solidarity and support towards Elshamy’s case.

Meanwhile, journalists in the press displayed their solidarity with Elhawary, claiming that the incident is fabricated to undermine his reputation.

The Dokki prosecutor decided last November to shelved the case against Elhawary as an administrative one and also issued a decision rejecting the complaint and confirming it is administratively discontinued.

Q4 of 2018

In November, MP Nadia Henry, a member of the economic committee in the parliament, announced the adoption of the Unified Violence against Women Bill.

Notably, it was launched by human rights and feminist organisations in November 2007 under the name of the ‘Taskforce for a Unified Act against Violence Against women’ and it contains 53 articles divided into seven sections.

The parliament referred the draft consolidated law against all forms of violence against women to a joint commission of constitutional and legislative affairs, defence, national security, and social solidarity and up till now it is still under implementation.

Noticeably, the unified law against all forms of violence against women was expected to be issued last year, according to the President of the NCW in January 2017.

In November, Minister of Finance, Mohamed Moeit established Yomna Akram Khattab as assistant minister of finance for fiscal policy and Mai Farid  as assistant minister of finance for economic justice, 

Eminently, Khattab was previously a senior economist and deputy director of the macro-fiscal policy division at the ministry, while Farid was the executive director of the ministry’s economic justice division.

Finally, a year has passed in which women accomplished a great deal, yet challenges still remain, anticipating the new year to deal with them. 

  

  

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MP suggests raising legal marriage age for females to 21 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/mp-suggests-raising-legal-marriage-age-for-females-to-21/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/mp-suggests-raising-legal-marriage-age-for-females-to-21/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 12:00:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685175 Rise in child marriages result of economic conditions, lack of girls’ awareness of their rights

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Parliament member, Souad Al-Masry, from Port Said suggested raising legal marriage age for girls to 21-years-old, in order to address the phenomenon of child marriage, elaborating that child marriages have become a threat to the public security of the Egyptian society. Notably, the current legal marriage age for girls is 18-years-old.

Al-Masry stated in a press statement that marriage constitutes an integrated society, therefore the rules must be sound. Many girls and boys before that age do not have the necessary experience to raise children, maintain family cohesion, and create a new responsible generation.

The MP called on the media to hold seminars, and educational sessions for young people, who are going to marry sooner, with an aim to raise their awareness of the importance of marriage, and how parents should build a new generation that can contribute to a better future. 

She also determined the need to make the punishment harsher on all parties involved in child marriages.

As for Sakina Fouad, adviser to former interim president Adly Mansour for women’s affairs, she told Daily News Egypt that child marriages are a violation of childhood, and ought to be considered as child trafficking.

She explained that the rise in the number of child marriages in Egypt is a result of the economic conditions and the lack of girls’ awareness about their rights as well as to parents’ exploitation of some girls’ weakness, and their lack of awareness of their rights.

Fouad also noted that the negative practice had already existed, but what helped it return at high rates in 2013 was when the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in the country. At the time, the Brotherhood-dominant parliament proposed a law to drop the minimum age for female marriage to 16-years-old, but luckily, Fouad said, that parliament was dissolved before the law was approved. She elaborated further that the crime still exists yet trafficking in the name of religion and using it as a cover for backwardness and extremism is at the core of the matter, which is a violation of the wellbeing of the girl and the rights of women. Thus, she asserted that there is a demand to increase religious awareness and awareness of the true religion, as that will stand in the face of the negative practice.

Moreover, she commented that it is not easy to currently profit from the proposed law, since it will take time to combat traditions and wrong Islamic convictions, which will not be easily eradicated.

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Time to stop normalising menstrual pain https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/time-to-stop-normalising-menstrual-pain/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/time-to-stop-normalising-menstrual-pain/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 11:00:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685177 Period not stigma

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The social scene in Egypt witnessed several changes recently, and the ceiling of demands rose intensively to discuss controversial topics and subjects which society previously used to consider as taboo.

A few days ago, social media platforms shared news from a European news agency that Italy was considering giving women an official menstrual leave, and that the lower house of Italy’s parliament has started discussing a draft law that, if approved, will mandate companies to grant three days of paid leave each month to female employees who are experiencing painful period. This news piece took social media platforms by storm and the story went viral.

Although the news was over a year old, however, Egyptian females revived this piece of news, and requested from the Egyptian government and parliament to consider this demand.

Thus, Daily News Egypt investigated the possibility of applying this law, not from a political side but rather from a social one, and discussed with women if they will use or demand this paid leave during their periods or not, as well as interviewed female obstetricians to learn to what extent the monthly period can affect female work productivity.

For her part, obstetrician Hamdia Ahmed, informed DNE that many women suffer during their monthly periods from premenstrual syndrome known as PMS, which are a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle.

She elaborated that some females always believe that the meaning of PMS are only mood swings, however scientifically it includes many symptoms but the most common symptom is the mood swing.

Ahmed explained that among the symptoms of the PMS are breast swelling and tenderness, fatigue, some digestive discomfort, a change in eating habits, as well as cramps.

Some females also suffer from headaches, meanwhile most women suffer from abdominal and pelvic cramps, in addition to lower back pain.

She noted that all these symptoms affect women’s brains, making them unable to properly work.

“Scientific research has shown that menstrual pain may be equal to a heart attack, thus it is time to stop normalising menstrual pain. We should always be more compassionate when women complain or share the severity of their menstrual pain,” she asserted.

Disagreeing with the doctor, Hala Ali, who works as a journalist in a social media company,  stated that periods are a taboo subject, and discussing cramps with a man can be embarrassing for some.

She continued that this excuse can lead to getting sexually harassed from your director, as you are the one who began discussing with him “sexual problems.”

Ali thinks that it is better to develop an overall leave policy for men and women to take time off for a host of reasons including, chronic medical conditions.

Agreeing with the doctor, Nour Saad, who works in a bank, said that every month she suffers tremendously during her period to the extent that she needs take an injection as soon as she gets her period.

“Every month I suffer a lot at work, and excuse myself from my male director to leave, while he always asks me “Why? How do you feel?” she said.

“Then after he refuses my excuse that I am tired, it leads to me making some mistakes in my work,” she continued sadly.

“I think that I am not a unique case and that many women suffer like me during their monthly periods or maybe they suffer even more, thus the government must consider our demand, especially that the government now has 12 women lead-ministries,” she asserted.

As for Karima Selim, a writer and a woman’s advocate, she stated that this demand is a legitimate right for women, and that it is implemented in many countries including Zambia, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.

She continued that the females who think or perceive the topic of menstruation as a taboo subject are victims of erroneous social norms, elaborating that their families raised them with the concept that a period is a social stigma.

“Instead we need to raise our children on the concept that we are biologically different, and we need to acknowledge that, rather than giving them pads without talking with them or even telling them how to adjust to the new changes that happening to them at that age,” she continued.

Notably, this outlandish debate is taking place not only in Egypt but across the whole world, for example Japan has offered a menstrual leave policies since 1947, when a law was passed allowing any woman with a painful period or whose job might exacerbate her period pain to take time off. However in 1986,  a policy study revealed that the number of women using it declined from 20% in 1960, to 13% in 1981, largely because of the societal pressures that women faced after its application.

“Woman should overthrow all societal pressures, they also must not to give up their demand to take days off during their periods,” she remarked. 

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