As part of the main activities of the second day of the World Youth Forum, a session “Towards a safe and inclusive world for women” was held today. A selection of speakers participated in the session; Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, Frederica Mayer, representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Egypt, Chitra Awasti, Founder of the non-profit organization RET, and Dr. Yomna Abdel Rahman, Professor at the German War College in Munich.
A group of speakers also participated in the session activities via the virtual platform of the World Youth Forum; Christine Arab, UN Women Representative in Egypt, Julie Diallo, Gender Adviser, UNFPA East and Southern Africa Office, and Minata Samati, African Union Commission for Political Affairs.
Dr. Maya Morsi paid tribute and appreciation to the Egyptian political leadership for Egypt’s efforts to push women towards leadership, and also thanked and appreciated the women from the medical staff who lost their lives as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and stated that their sacrifices will be remembered through history, and the policy paper presented by the National Council for Women was discussed at the height of the pandemic, which consisted of five axes, to support women during the Corona crisis, as 165 measures were presented in January 2021, and announced at the United Nations General Assembly, where Egypt won the approval of more than 60 countries for these proposals.
The speakers drew attention to several prominent axes regarding women’s issues in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, the first of which is women bearing greater responsibility as a result of closing schools during the pandemic, and women losing their jobs more than men during the pandemic, as well as violence against women during the height of the pandemic, as one out of every three women were subjected to violence, in addition to noting that 30% of Egyptian families are headed by women, and 96% of men have returned to their jobs after the pandemic, while only 40% of women have returned to their jobs.
It is worth noting that the issue of awareness-raising was discussed, which should include two parts: the first part is to educate women about the violence that they may be exposed to, whatever its form, type and location, and also to educate them about ways to confront violence. The role of youth in women’s issues and rights has been emphasized. The attendees pointed out the role that technology and the Internet play in facilitating women’s access to information.
Speakers in the session emphasized the need to support women to reach decision-making positions, confront political violence against women, and support women’s empowerment in the field of education, but attention was drawn to the fact that there are educated women who work in prestigious jobs and are also exposed to violence in its various forms. The speakers also agreed on the persistence of challenges facing women, which we must continue to confront in all possible ways.
In the same context, the speakers discussed mechanisms for combating violence against women and supporting their issues, in light of legislation and laws, and the importance of women’s understanding and awareness of their rights, especially with regard to forms and types of harassment and ways to confront it, with the importance of linking these efforts to the sustainable development goals of gender equality, as well as the issue of The “women’s quota”, especially in the private sector, and the need to confront the problem of cultural and family problems that women are exposed to, as we need an intellectual battle for change.