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Egypt's National Council for Women launches 'Because I'm a Man' campaign

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Dec 2017
Maya Morsy the head of Egypt’s National Council for Women (Ahram online)
Maya Morsy the head of Egypt’s National Council for Women (Ahram online)

The Egyptian National Council for Women announced on Sunday the official launch of a campaign titled "Because I'm a Man," which calls for equality between woman and men and is led by UN Women in Egypt.

In an official ceremony, the head of the Natinal Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsi inaugurated the initiative to assert men's pivotal role in women's empowerment and the bolster of equality between both genders.

In her speech, Morsi stressed that "a real man is one who holds the qualities of chivalry, engagement, and responsibility."

"Men are partners for women, despite some men abusing the perception of manhood and viewing it as a mean of control and derogation of women and their rights," Morsi said.

She expressed her gratitude for public figures who have voiced their support for the campaign, which included Egyptian national football team and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and Tunisian actor Dhafir L’Abidine as well as several Egyptian TV presenters.

Morsi said she hopes the initiative would be supported by 100 influential men by March 2018.

The ceremony also witnessed an announcement of the results of a study on equality between men and women in Egypt.

For her side, the Deputy Regional Director for UN Women: Arab States, Blerta Aliko, said the study sets everyone to work together to fix problems that affect not only women, but men as well.

Aliko considered 2017 a successful year for women in Egypt due to an initiative launched by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to empower women and support sustainable development in Egypt.

She hailed the Egyptian government’s setting of a special budget to establish equality between both genders.

The results of the study, announced by Cairo University Professor Fatma El-Zanaty, revealed that two thirds of men surveyed said that girls' education was as important as boys’ education, but girls’ marriages was more important that their professions.

According to the study, three quarters of women surveyed want to attain their right to work but they see that men should be given the priority in job selection if the opportunities are limited.

The study added that men acknowledge women's abilities at work and leadership. However, they do not welcome women participation in political life.

Men are also more likely to be aware of laws in support of women rights than are women themselves, according to the study.

Because I’m A Man first went viral in November following the support of footballer Salah, who said that he decided to support the campaign.

The campaign has been making rounds since its launch this week with an animated video that aims to show that men and women have equal rights and duties.

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