U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Dorothy Shea at the event of inaugurating new hub for women and girls in Egypt's Giza suburb of Imbaba (Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Embassy)
In coordination with the governorate of Giza, the US Embassy in Cairo is launching the first community center for women and girls in the lower-middle class neighborhood of Imbaba, a statement by the embassy read on Sunday.
The opening of the center is a part of the Safe Cities project, a joint program in partnership with UN Women which aims to strengthen the capacity of public institutions and community service organizations to provide safe spaces for women and girls, in addition to victim services such as shelters and legal support, according to the statement.
“One step at a time, we are working in partnership to create an Egypt that says no to sexual harassment – and yes to safe cities," said US Deputy Chief of Mission Dorothy Shea, who joined Giza Governor Mohamed Kamal El-Daly to inaugurate the community hub.
The diplomat said in the statement that the US is committed "to supporting the government of Egypt’s efforts to ensure that women and girls are socially, economically, and politically empowered in public spaces.”
The Safe Cities program is part of the $30 billion that the American people have invested in Egypt through USAID since 1978.
"In order to change perceptions of violence against women, the project supports advocacy efforts and uses innovative awareness-raising tools such as interactive community theater, storytelling, and art to promote a culture of zero-tolerance for violence against women – and a culture of responsibility towards the survivors of this abuse," the statement read.
According to a UN Women study, 99.3% of surveyed Egyptian women said that they had experienced sexual harassment in their lifetimes.