The Egyptian tourism ministry, in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Egypt, has announced its intention to obtain the UNDP's Gender Equality Seal (GES) in the tourism sector.
The ministry made the announcement during a ceremony where it discussed the steps required to earn the GES.
The ceremony was attended by Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashaat, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation Ahmed El-Wassief, NCW chairperson Maya Morsy, the Country Director of the United Nations Development Program Randa abul Hassan and foreign diplomats.
The tourism ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it has been working for 16 months to draft a unified vision on a structural reform programme to develop the tourism sector, noting that "global tourism trends and economic empowerment of women" are among the pillars of the envisaged structural reforms.
The Gender Equality Seal incentivises UNDP Country Offices to integrate gender equality into all aspects of their development work.
Upon completing a range of specific standards, participating UNDP Country Offices can achieve either a Gold, Silver or Bronze level certification according to their gender equality accomplishments.
Al-Mashat stressed the ministry's keeness to increase the number of women working in the tourism sector, pointing to the cooperation between the ministry and the private sector in this regard, especially in the field of training and providing a suitable working environment for women.
The Minister also praised the role played by the NCW, noting its efforts to promote women's rights and freedoms, as well as and non-discrimination and equal opportunity principals.
"Egypt is the first country in the world to launch the 'seal of equality' in the tourism sector, and many countries will benefit from Egypt's experience," the NCW Morsy said during the ceremony.
Morsy also noted that the unemployment rate for women in Egypt has decreased significantly.
"The empowerment of woman and the integration of gender equality are among the most important axes we work on, and are part of the Empowerment of Egyptian Women Strategy 2030 launched by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi," Morsy said in a statement issued by the NCW.
To receive a Gender Equality Seal, standards must be met in the following seven areas: management systems, in-house capacities; enabling environment; communications and knowledge management; programmes; partnerships; and gender impact/results.