Japan’s ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gozour Foundation Training Center, Ali Mokhtar, witnessed the signing of a grant contract worth $US 83,708 to support women’s empowerment in Egypt.
The grant aims to support women in old Cairo and the surrounding areas through providing vocational training to create job opportunities for poor women, according to a statement from the Japanese Embassy on Thursday.
The grant will be used in training women for self-employment, and providing them with specific skills that are compatible with the current needs of the Egyptian labor market in areas such as cooking and handicrafts.
Trainees of the program will be educated as well on different marketing strategies.
In 2018, Gozour Foundation implemented a program to support women through a project focused on enhancing English language and computer skills among women to meet the needs of the labor market and empower them to find jobs.
The empowerment of women has a pivotal role in achieving the goals of sustainable development, the statement quoted Noke as staying, stressing Japan’s support for women’s empowerment and the promotion of gender equality.
The grant is part of support offered by the Japanese government’s to human security projects in Egypt, through which it provides funding to non-profit organizations, including NGOs in areas such as health and welfare, education, environment, and vocational training.
The Japanese grant program was launched in Egypt in 1994, and to this day, Japan has implemented 167 projects in Egypt through this program, at a cost equivalent to about $US 9 million, the statement said.
In a related context, the French embassy hosted the launch of another women’s empowerment program earlier this month, which is being funded by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and is being implemented by Plan International Egypt, under the auspices of the National Council for Women.
The project, over the course of 36 months, will work to bolster access to work opportunities, empower young women in the job market, and promote gender equality and inclusivity in the private sector, through life skills and market-driven vocational training and provisions of cash grants for entrepreneurs, as well as by working to promote gender-sensitive policies in at least 15 companies across Egypt.
The initiative hopes to benefit over 1,000 young women from the Greater Cairo and Port Said governorates and 400 young women from Luxor, all aged 18 to 35.
Statistics released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2019 show that labor force participation for Egyptian women aged 15 to 65 stands at only 22.9 percent.
According to a 2018 report on women’s economic empowerment from The World Bank, discrimination against women in the labor market, and especially in the private sector, remains “a significant obstacle to (women’s) participation and contribution to economic growth” in Egypt.
Image: Women line up waiting to cast their vote at a polling station in Cairo on May 23, 2012 (REUTERS/Ammar Awad)