Celebrating the conclusion of the “Salheya Initiative for Women Economic Empowerment”

Date: Sunday, January 31, 2016

"I was trained and I launched my own business. I'm fulfilling my dream," Salheya Programme graduate

The Ministry of Manpower, in collaboration with the Social Research Centre (SRC) of the American University in Cairo (AUC), and with the financial and technical support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equity (FGE), is celebrating the conclusion of the Salheya Initiative for Women Economic Empowerment- a programme of economic empowerment for Egyptian women.

Four mobile training units were launched today to accommodate increasing training demands in four areas of Sharkeya Governorate along with an exhibition to showcase the products created by the programme’s graduates. The mobile units are highly equipped to provide capacity building in several fields to improve women's employability which ensures the sustainability of the programme beyond the timeframe of the FGE grant which closes today. So far, 1300 women benefited from eighty vocational training courses. Two permanent outlets were created to market their products by the Ministry of Manpower. Five hundred graduates of the programme have been able to secure jobs in the formal market or start their own businesses.

To further support the women in marketing their skills and their products, the programme has also created a website which matches the supply and demand sides of the labor market to support female workers and graduates of the programme. For the same purpose, the programme created a network of constructive partnerships with ten civil society organizations and thirteen private sector institutions in the areas of New Salheya, 10th of Ramadan industrial zone and Cairo. Partnerships also extended to include the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Sharkeya’s Labor Union.

Looking beyond vocational training, the FGE-funded programme worked on upscaling the Gender Equality Seal in the Egyptian labor market- a certification system designed to hold the private sector accountable to gender equality. Five factories in Sharkeya benefited from a capacity building programme to integrate the Gender Equality Seal in their businesses in 2015. Moreover, the programme engaged four hundred civil servants from the Ministry of Manpower through twenty six training courses on adopting the Gender Equality Seal and incorporating gender equality in management systems.

“UN Women supports programmes like the Salheya initiative for their multidimensional nature which targets grass-root communities, civil society and the government to ensure sustainability and the institutionalization of change,” said Mr. Mohammad Naciri, UN Women’s Regional Director for Arab States. “We are proud of today’s success, especially that it presents a model which could be repeated in many similar communities across the Arab Region.”

Today’s celebration was attended by Mr. Naciri, the Egyptian Minister of Manpower, Mr. Gamal Sourour, and the Governor of Sharkeya, General Khaled Saied.