March 8, 2020, Cairo, Egypt – The Italian Embassy in Cairo, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Cairo and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), celebrated International Women’s Day at the premises of the Italian Cultural Institute on Sunday 8th March 2020.
Protecting and promoting women’s and girls’ rights is a priority for the Italian Cooperation and UNFPA, who since many years has been supporting initiatives in this sector through a strong cooperation with the Egyptian counterparts, including the Ministry of Social Solidarity, NCCM, NCW, and civil society institutions.
During the afternoon more than 80 young people participated in sports and art activities, as well as interactive theatre performances, aimed at raising awareness around GBV and mobilising young people around women and girls’ empowerment.
In the evening, the event brought together H.E. the Ambassador of Italy Giampaolo Cantini, H.E. the Minister of Social Solidarity Dr. Nevine El Kabbaj, the Head of International Cooperation of the NCW Dr. Naglaa El Adly, Child and Social Protection Expert at the NCCM Dr. Zeina Spinelli, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Egypt Dr. Germaine Haddad, and Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Egypt Dr. Felice Longobardi.
The institutional panel was followed by the screening of four short films tackling the social, health and psychological repercussions of violence against women. This opened the floor for the attendees to discuss the role of film in promoting awareness around GBV. The film screenings were coordinated by MedFest, a medically themed educational film forum that promotes the role of film in shifting social norms and changing behaviours.
The event also hosted the intervention of H.E. Nevine El Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, who emphasized the valuable collaboration between the Ministry and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, not only on women’s empowerment projects, but on a wide range of development projects. The Minister thanked the Italian system for its long-standing cooperation and valuable contribution to the development of the country.
An exhibition of handmade products from the project “Promotion of children’s rights and empowerment of the family in the Fayoum Governorate”, funded by AICS and managed by NCCM, and an art exhibition with installations on gender equality were held on the side-lines of the event, while the whole building of the Italian Cultural Institute was lit up in purple, the colour chosen worldwide for International Women’s Day.
The women of the “Tunis Village Community Kitchen” have contributed to the refreshments by offering some of their specialties. The Community Kitchen, established in November 2019 in Fayoum, is an important result of an economic empowerment initiative of the EU Joint Rural Development Programme (EU-JRDP), funded by the European Union and implemented by the Italian Embassy in Cairo with the technical support of AICS.
Watch here the video on the results of the Italian Cooperation in Egypt in the field of gender equality.