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Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Overview

Image of female Community Development Worker in Egypt speaking to an audience of women.
Community Development Workers help change traditional perceptions of women’s rights and roles.
USAID

USAID promotes gender equality and women's empowerment across all sectors of our work in Egypt. We support efforts to standardize maternal, child and nutrition services and family planning best practices, especially for underserved populations.

We address gender inequalities in education, support women’s and girls’ civic participation and political rights, reduce and respond to violence against women and children and support women’s economic empowerment by providing jobs, training, loans for small businesses and improved access to trade opportunities.

Goals

USAID works with the Egyptian people to support women and girls by:

  • Providing career development and internships for girls in the agriculture sector and training for women farmers in remote villages;
  • Enhancing women’s and girls’ civic participation and political rights, and reducing and responding to violence against women and children; 
  • Providing jobs, training and loans for small businesses, and improved access to trade opportunities to empower women and lift entire families and communities out of poverty;
  • Reducing poverty through activities that address gender inequalities and increasing girls’ participation in schools; and
  • Standardizing maternal, child and nutrition services and family planning best practices, particularly for underserved populations.

Project Areas

Agriculture:  Through a program to improve the quality of education in 117 agricultural technical schools nationwide, teenage girls are participating in afterschool career development counseling and in internships with local agribusinesses. Women are involved in rural development programs that train farmers to produce, process, and deliver tomatoes. In Aswan, USAID trains women in preparing sun-dried tomatoes, which provide a source of income for them in remote horticultural farming villages.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance:  USAID works with Egyptian and U.S. organizations to enhance women’s and girls’ civic and political rights and participation in their communities, in addition to building informal networks between Egyptian women and their counterparts in other countries. A partnership between Egypt’s National Council for Women, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and NGOs worked to reduce and respond to violence against women and children by conducting studies on women forced into marriage and other forms of trafficking as well as providing them support services.

Economic Growth and Trade:  USAID, in partnership with business associations and banks, is the largest financier of microfinance initiatives in Egypt. USAID contributes to more than 75 percent of all development activities in this sector, and approximately 65 percent of the beneficiaries are women entrepreneurs. USAID works to increase employment opportunities and address a growing gap in the Egyptian labor market, through addressing the lack of skilled labor in underprivileged communities and providing important job skills and equal opportunities for women in the labor market.

Education:  USAID works with Egyptians to address gender inequalities in schools, expand educational opportunities for girls and provide scholarships to talented and deserving Egyptians of high financial need to obtain degrees from the American University in Cairo and private Egyptian universities. USAID works with six regional organizations and 45 community development associations to reduce social cultural, and cost barriers to education.

Health:  USAID partnered with the Egyptian Government and civil society to improve health among women and girls. Programs promote an increased understanding of maternal, child and neonatal health and improve childhood nutrition and family planning practices. To strengthen the health system, activities promote policies that benefit women and address gender inequalities. In 2010, USAID began empowering nurses in Upper Egypt to bridge the gap in management and leadership skills with a focus on infection control, basic nursing skills and improved communication between patients and healthcare providers.

Last updated: April 13, 2014

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