Cairo (UNA-OIC) – The Government of Egypt and the Women Development Organization (WDO) celebrated Wednesday the International Day of Families by holding a symposium on “The Role of Family-Oriented Policies in Empowering Women and Girls within the Family”.
H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy, the President of the National Council for Women (NCW) and Chair of the Eighth Session of the Ministerial Council of OIC on Women and Chair of the First Session of the Ministerial Council of the Women Development Organization inaugurated the symposium emphasizing that it is an opportunity for Member-States and subsidiary organs of OIC to share their success stories, the different benefits and aspects to enhance capacities on the national level in advancing development.
She listed the comprehensive human developmental projects of Egypt, some of which included economic empowerment, digital, service, and legal interventions, awareness-raising of citizens on the different impacts of overpopulation, and the provision of financial assistance. She concluded her speech by stressing collaboration, partnerships, and proper commitment by States to advance the situation on the status of women.
H.E. Dr. Afnan Alshuaiby, the Executive Director of WDO, greeted the participants in her opening remarks, highlighted the family institution as a fundamental group of society, and noted the importance of accounting for the challenges and the concerted actions to be taken thereof namely on the effects of COVID-19 on labor force participation, employment, education, gender-based violence, and others.
She mentioned also that the WDO is striving hard in contributing to policy initiatives with a special focus on women and girls, boosting a common understanding, exchanging of knowledge, and implementing the relevant OIC resolutions. Alshuaiby called for the implementation of comprehensive parental schemes through projects such as proper and affordable childcare facilities, robust social protection services, institutional care systems, and parenting skills; and welcomed the OIC Strategy on creating a gender equality policy.
Dr. Amina Alhajri, Director General of Social Affairs at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, mentioned that Egypt’s commitment to organizing several projects and conferences showcases its interest in women’s empowerment and social development.
She further noted that the family is an important unit and basic element on which all communities are based, and added that this symposium is an opportunity to not only discuss the successes of family-oriented policies, but also the challenges that hinder the social development of families. The OIC’s commitment to developing family-oriented policies is reflected through its “Strategy for the Empowerment of the Marriage & Family Institution (2020-2025).”
The esteemed Ministers of the Gender Machineries in the OIC Member States shared their projects and programs in developing family-oriented programs, some of which included development programs that increased women’s participation in the labor market and holding leadership positions, flexible work arrangements that include maternal and paternal leaves, the subsidization of childcare facilities, the financial assistance of families impacted by COVID-19, the provision of healthcare services, and access to education and justice.
For his part, H.E. Mohammed Abd Rabbo Al-Yami, the Director-General of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA) emphasized that media plays an essential role in promoting family-oriented policies and mainstreaming them within the public opinion as well as working as a communication channel to convey families’ needs and aspirations to decision-makers.
Al-Yami reviewed some of the UNA activities to serve family issues and women’s empowerment as well as to enhance media professionals’ awareness of family-related issues. “UNA is ready to participate in women’s empowerment efforts and support them in terms of media coverage and the provision of training programs tailored to suit the needs of the media workers, with the ultimate goal of achieving equality and fair representation of women in mass media in the OIC member states.”