Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) and the permanent mission to the UN in New York represented the country in the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), launched virtually in New York on Wednesday and set to take place over two weeks.
The session is held under the theme: "Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
Addressing the gathering via video-conference, President of the NCW Maya Morsy highlighted the "remarkable" progress Egypt has achieved in the field of empowering women and gender equality over the past six years.
Morsy stressed that the government supports women's constitutional rights and has turned them into laws and executive strategies, a matter that has led to the increase in the rate of women representation in parliament to 28 percent, in municipal councils to 25 percent, and posts of deputy governors to 31 percent.
She added that an ongoing presidential initiative to protect women's health has benefitted 11 million women in 2020.
She cited the latest report issued by the United Nations Women’s Organisation and the United Nations Development Program, which ranked Egypt first in the Middle East in terms of the number of measures taken to support women in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, as another example of governmental support to women.
Egypt's Permanent Representative to UN Mohamed Idris said Egypt is keen on taking part in the CSW's activities since it is "the most important international forum and gathering to discuss women's empowerment issues."
He added that this year's session gains prominence as the first to be held 25 years following the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on the Advancement of Women.
The Beijing Declaration is a document adopted in 1995 that embodies the commitment of the international community to achieve gender equality and to provide better opportunities for women and girls.
In a report published in 2019, the country's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said females represent 20.9 percent of Egypt's labour force, while males represent 79.1 percent.
CAPMAS also said that the number of females in Egypt reached 47.5 million compared to 50.5 million males in January 2019.
Egypt has taken several steps over the past several years to boost women empowerment and ensure their access to various positions by increasing their representation in official bodies, including parliamentary chambers, the judiciary and municipalities.
Earlier this month, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for allowing women to become members of the State Council and the public prosecution.
Last week, Egypt’s State Council approved for the first time the appointment of a number of female members to the council as per the presidential directives.