“Creating an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Girls in Egypt”, a USAID programme that improved the situation of adolescent girls and boys in Egypt, contributing to their empowerment
UNICEF in Egypt and partners celebrate key achievements of the joint programme funded by USAID
CAIRO, 13 December 2022 – Today, Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, Eng. Nivine Osman, Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Ms. Leslie Reed, USAID Mission Director in Egypt, and Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt celebrated the key milestones achieved over the course of the USAID-funded programme ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Girls in Egypt’ since its inauguration in December 2017.
This joint programme was designed to address both individual and community factors to reduce gender disparities, enhance girls social and economic standing, and contribute to the national efforts aimed at reducing the rate of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Egypt. It also aimed to equip thousands of adolescent girls and boys with key life skills to bring about positive change. It also opened greater social and economic opportunities for girls.
USAID and UNICEF, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), NGOs, and development partners, supported the implementation of “Meshwary” programme for youth’s empowerment. Meshwary skilled more than 570,000 adolescents and young people from 2018 to 2022. “Maharty… Lyaqty” (My Skill, my fitness) programme that uses sports to promote gender equality engaged a total of more than 15,000 adolescent girls in 9 governorates. 7,300 adolescents and youth were trained on design thinking and participation in climate change action within the ‘Youth Challenge’ initiative which is a global initiative that supports young people to realize their full potential as they tackle the world’s most pressing issues through a global competition. In 2022, two Egyptian teams have been promoted to the global competition, where one of them – the Soigel team – was awarded as the first team at the global level.
Finally, the USAID-supported “Youth for Climate” caravan roved Egypt’s 27 governorates, engaged a total of 150,000 young people and more than 400,000 community members in the climate change discussion and action.
In cooperation with the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, the joint programme supported girls to fulfill their full potential. In March 2022, the National Girl’s Empowerment Imitative ‘Dawwie’ was placed under the auspices of H.E. Mrs. Entissar El Sisi. Since its launch, Dawwie’s reached nearly half a million people on the ground and over 60 million online.
Thanks to the joint USAID-funded programme, more than 2,400 service providers were trained on addressing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), with a focus on its medical, legal, and social aspects. In total, more than 270,000 people were engaged in community mobilization and door-to-door campaigns about the harmful impact of FGM. Since 2014, FGM is becoming less prevalent at the national level, particularly for younger generation dropping from 61% in 2014 to 36.8% in 2021 according to latest EFHS data (age group 15-17 years), thus showing that adolescent girls can lead the progress.
The event showcased the joint programme’s achievements. It also included a panel discussion by young beneficiaries of ‘Meshwary’, ‘Dawwie’ and FGM programmes. During the event, the ‘Youth Challenge’ winning team presented their ‘Soigel’ project.
In conclusion, the achievements of USAID’s ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Girls in Egypt’ programme show that when young people have access to relevant skills, information, and quality services, and when the community is willing to listen to their opinions and aspirations, the entire family, community and nation benefit from a more equitable and prosperous society.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/