Saturday,23 June, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1351, (6 - 12 July 2017)
Saturday,23 June, 2018
Issue 1351, (6 - 12 July 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Egyptian women can

Egypt is spotlighting Egyptian women abroad and their role in enhancing their motherland, reports Reem Leila

Ismail speaking on the first day of the conference
Ismail speaking on the first day of the conference

Under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail inaugurated a two-day conference entitled “Egyptian Women Can” in Cairo on 2 July. The conference was organised by the Ministry of State for Immigration and Expatriate Affairs in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW).

The conference, aiming to shed light on the role played by Egyptian women abroad, was attended by 31 leading expatriate Egyptian women. Among them was Mona Shendi, a commander in the Australian Navy, Azza Ali, a member of the Australian parliament, and Laila Bans, a top international economics consultant.

It focused on the achievements of Egyptian women abroad in the scientific and economic domains with a view to benefiting from their experience in boosting development inside Egypt. This is in order to achieve the goals of the Egypt 2030 Vision plan.

The conference is part of several similar events aimed at connecting expatriate Egyptian scientists and experts with their homeland. A similar event was held in Hurghada in December under the auspices of President Al-Sisi, in which up to 35 expatriate Egyptian scientists and experts took part.

In his speech at the conference, Ismail pointed out that it aimed to serve Egypt’s interests, voicing confidence in Egyptian women’s awareness of the challenges facing their country at this critical stage in its history. “By taking part in this gathering, Egyptian women are sending a clear message about the need for everyone to unite to outline effective policies and reach successful solutions to chronic problems,” Ismail said.

The Egyptian people, he added, were fully aware of the importance of the tough reform measures being taken by the government. He told participants at the conference that his government saw in it an opportunity to benefit from expatriate women’s valuable contributions.

Nabila Makram, minister of immigration and expatriate affairs, said that the conference was held in the wake of President Al-Sisi’s promise that 2017 would be the year of Egyptian women. “This event is a remarkable example of fruitful cooperation between the ministry and the NCW,” Makram said.

“It aims at building trust between expatriate Egyptian women and representatives of the government and civil society associations in various important domains,” she added.

During the conference, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Planning Hala Al-Said talked of their experience as decision-makers. The expatriate Egyptian women at the conference told attendees about their experiences abroad as well as their willingness to participate in Egypt’s development.

Maya Morsi, head of the NCW, said the conference would greatly strengthen the role of Egyptian expatriate women in developing Egypt while shedding light on the achievements of Egyptian experts abroad in all fields.

“Expatriate Egyptian women are in a position to reflect Egypt’s image to the international community. These women have managed to occupy vital positions in various fields,” Morsi said.

At the end of the conference, Morsi and Makram honoured all the women who had participated, handing them models of the conference shield. The conference resulted in several recommendations, the most important of which was facilitating the creation of mechanisms through which Egyptian expatriates can support national initiatives led by the Long Live Egypt Fund through telecommunications networks and mobile phones.

Among other important outcomes was an agreement between Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed Al-Assar and Hoda Al-Maraghi, head of the Canada Research Centre and dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Windsor University in Canada, to discuss cooperation in military production using the latest methods and advanced manufacturing technology.

Other recommendations suggested new ways of dealing with challenges hindering economic development in order to accomplish sustainable development goals in which the integration and empowerment of women is a key focus. This was in addition to the need to combine efforts among all Egyptians to instill a spirit of loyalty and belonging among Egyptian youth at home and abroad so as to preserve Egyptian identity.

The conference participants pointed to the importance of supporting scientific research in universities through using modern technologies to upgrade national products in order to meet local market requirements and increase the ability to compete abroad, thereby also increasing exports and reducing the trade deficit.

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