Egypt is hosting a regional dialogue to boost women’s political participation in the Arab world, bringing delegations from 11 Arab countries.
The three-day event, which kicked off on Monday in Egypt’s capital Cairo, is organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Arab Women Organization (AWO), an intergovernmental organization affiliated with the Arab League.
“This dialogue aims to draw a roadmap to enhance women’s political participation in the Arab region by involving all concerned parties at the national, regional, and international levels,” said AWO Director General Fadia Kiwan.
Participants discussed strategies to overcome obstacles that prevent women’s effective involvement in political affairs, exchanged experiences and discussed opportunities for advancing Arab women’s role.
Maya Morsy, president of Egypt’s National Council for Women, said that pursuing women’s rights is not a luxury, but a necessity, as women are disproportionately affected by wars and disasters.
She noted that women’s representation in the Egyptian parliament, cabinet, and governors’ posts has increased in recent years, thanks to the government’s prioritization of women’s empowerment.
She also called for more efforts to address the urgent global challenges of cyber violence and technology-triggered violence against women’s leadership and participation in decision-making processes.
Alessandro Fracassetti, the resident representative of the UNDP in Egypt, said that the political empowerment of women is crucial because Arab women are faced with many obstacles, such as poor access to education.
Representatives from Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, Palestine, Oman, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Jordan attended the dialogue, according to the event’s organizer.