EU Ambassador Christian Berger, Director of the IICPSR Gamal Sorour, Al-Azhar Secretary-General Nazir Ayad, UNFPA representative Frederika Meijer
Al-Azhar University’s International Islamic Centre for Population Studies and Research (IICPSR) and UNFPA launched the Population Education Curriculum and the Family Planning and the Opinions of Contemporary Imams of Jurisprudence manual, with the support of the European Union (EU).
At Al-Azhar Conference Centre, the event took place on 27 June in the attendance of Nazir Ayad, secretary-general of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy, Director of the IICPSR Gamal Sorour, together with UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer, and Ambassador of the EU to Egypt Christian Berger.
The Population Education Curriculum was updated by a group of experts, headed by Sorour, and will be used as a curriculum for the first time. It will be taught in more than 56 faculties related to sciences and religion.
Its chapters tackle the demography, economic and water resources in the Islamic world, as well as human development. Other chapters tackle population and health, reproductive health, and family planning, as well as the religious perspective on population issues including violence against women and harmful practices.
The manual, on the other hand, brings to light the Islamic perspective on family planning from the most prestigious religious leaders in Egypt. It will also be used by religious leaders from the Ministry of Endowments and students from Al-Azhar University.
“Both the curriculum and the manual are important tools that can be used by religious leaders, policy makers, researchers, civil society, and development agencies, not only in Egypt, but in Arab States and other countries with a Muslim population,” Meijer said.
While Berger confirmed that “the European Union supports the implementation of Egypt’s National Population Strategy through increasing awareness on related issues in line with the country’s Sustainable Development Strategy, 2030 Vision.”
The EU Support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy project aims to increase the use of voluntary, rights-based family planning, with the support of an EU-grant of €27 Million, in cooperation with UNFPA.
Under the EU Support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy project, UNFPA partners with faith-based organisations such as Al-Azhar University’s International Islamic Centre for Population Studies and Research and the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services (BLESS) will engage religious leaders to amplify the project’s mandate among their communities.