Launch of the project ‘Women’s Empowerment and Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt: COVID-19 Response’
March 11, 2021
On 8 March 2021, the world celebrated International Women’s day highlighting the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. To mark this important day, the National Council for Women (NCW), the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the European Union (EU), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and UN Women in Egypt joined forces to celebrate the tremendous efforts of women and girls in shaping a more equal future and full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the framework of a longstanding partnership, the partners launched a new project entitled ‘Women’s Empowerment and Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt: COVID-19 Response’.
The newly launched project, co-led by NCW and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), implemented with the support of UN Women Egypt, and co-funded by the European Union and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, tackles obstacles to women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment by investing in the scale up and digitalization of a successful initiative, known as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA)for women. The project targets over 120,000 women in the governorates of Minya, Benisuef, Assiut and Sohag.
It aims to expand the scale, sustainability, and impact of VSLAs through leveraging technology of different e-payment methods, thereby enhancing women’s access to financial services. In addition, the project will support small-scale women-led enterprises in rural areas. Rural women’s digital and financial literacy will also be increased through training.
Together with EU Member States, the European Union has a longstanding partnership with national development partners, and civil society in supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Egypt. In the framework of the partnership priorities jointly agreed upon between Egypt and the European Union, several EU funded programmes have contributed to women’s socio-economic empowerment, participation in public life, and combating violence against women and girls.
“COVID-19 has brought hardship and many challenges for people all over the world. Often women are particularly affected. The European Union, the Member States and European Financial Institutions, acting together as ‘Team Europe’ have committed new resources and adapted existing programmes to support the resilience of our partner countries and their societies. [ …] This new project represents an important milestone. We join forces with our long-standing partners. We believe that this intervention will contribute to women’s resilience during Covid-19 and will accelerate recovery more generally. We are convinced that with persistent and joint efforts geared at reinforcing the national agenda on women’s empowerment and protection, we contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive development in Egypt in line with the Vision 2030” said H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt.