UNFPA, national stakeholders launch initiative to empower teenage girls in Egypt

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Oct 2021

A new initiative has been launched in Egypt to empower teenage girls, especially in the country's marginalised communities by supporting their rights, bridging the gender gap, and building their social, health and economic assets.

UNFPA representatives, Egyptian ministers, national stakeholders, ambassador of the Netherlands launch Noura initiative

The initiative, “Noura”, a symbol for all adolescent girls in Egypt, was launched by Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the National Council for Women (NCW), the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development.

The launch took place in the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada during a reception titled “Investing in Girls for the Bright Future of Egypt”.

The reception brought together Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Maya Morsy, President of the NCW, Sahar El-Sonbaty, Secretary-General of the NCCM, Rania El-Mashat, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Ambassador Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs and Frederika Meijer, Representative of UNFPA in Egypt.

Also present in the event were Ambassador of the Netherlands to Egypt Han Maurits Schaapveld, UN Resident Coordinator Elena Panova, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to the Arab Republic of Egypt on behalf of the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt Ibrahim Laafia, together with Executive Director of Sawiris Foundation for Social Development Engineer Noura Selim, and Chairperson of the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBE) Mervat Sultan.

The reception also witnessed the launch of the Girls Assets Framework, which is a tailored programme that will respond to the unique circumstances facing adolescent girls to empower them and build their social, health and economic assets, so they can reach their full potential.

This was the first public debut of “Noura”, the icon of the Girls Assets Framework and the soon-to-be symbol for investing in girls in Egypt to partners, filmmakers and supporters. 

In a speech, El-Said stressed that “Noura” programme will create a transformational change in the lives of girls in Egypt, adding that it is absolutely necessary to invest in our teenage girls and improve their lives today, explaining that our future depends on the support and quality of life provided to girls at this crucial age.

“We support the right of every girl to pursue ambitious goals, pursue the education and training she needs to become a productive participant in the labor force,” El-Said said.

“Combined with access to appropriate health programmes and safety protocols, this leads to the development of a sense of belonging, making investing in girls a natural and feasible catalyst for all of the SDGs.”

El-Said stressed that Egypt has made great progress in recent years to promote the integration of women's issues in various policies and enhance their political, economic and social roles, and this is evident in the Human Development Report in Egypt, recently launched by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

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