17-Apr-2014 08:35 AM

In line with what is set to be an exciting time for celebrating women’s achievements in all fields around the world, Women Think-Tank committee in Egypt gathered with the aim of creating a celebration that will help women connect, be empowered, innovate and realize dreams.  As a member of the committee, UN Women- Egypt Office organized an event titled “Civic Engagement and citizenship for women and girls in Egypt” on March 20th, 2014 at Doom Cultural Center.

The event aimed to highlight the efforts of civil society partners and youth movements working in the field and to raise awareness on the importance of equal and full citizenship for women and girls in Egypt, beyond the direct vote and ballot.

“The event will shed the light on the importance of the participation of women in public life, bringing live examples and real success stories, encouraging women and girls to share their challenges and fears, allowing volunteers to present their activities and grassroots achievements and most of all celebrate teamwork and the efforts to support the advancement of women’s role in decision-making processes and in public life in Egypt. “-Said by a UN Representative.

The event agenda was full of different activities; it first started with a Caricature art exhibition by Federation Cartoonists Organization (FECO). The exhibition provided the opportunity for 25 artists to display their artwork. Their artwork revolved about how they see themselves as women in the Egyptian society and the common stereotypes about women.

Following the artwork exhibition, Microsoft launched its online portal with the new feature “Volunteering Management Tool”. 

“Aspire Woman Forum aims to strengthen and support the Arab and African network of women and facilitate the connection of women in the region, and encourage their participation through the exposure of opinions, ideas, and experiences that can aid women realize their potential and opportunities. The new tool facilitates the process of matching interested candidates with volunteering opportunities offered by NGOs.” -Explained by Raneem Medhat, Aspire Woman Initiative.

Following the portal launch, three UN Women partners and acknowledged youth groups; Baheya Ya Masr, Fouada Watch and Debate, presented their activities and interacted with the audience in open discussions, debate and voting and gaming activities that are related to the theme of the event.

During the event, audience had the opportunity to witness the premiere screening on a new film called “Female, a name” and Heya Short Documentary.

“Female, a name”, a film directed by Rami RizkAllah, the film highlights the importance of ID cards for women. The film  is a part of UN Women national citizenship initiative to issue 2 million IDs to women and girls in most disadvantaged areas.

“Heya” Short Documentary is the production of Heya, AUC based young feminist movement. The documentary emphasizes the importance of volunteering for Women rights.

Additionally, there was an open fair for partners to display their products or to discuss with audience about their initiatives. Six civil society youth movements participated in the open fair as well as UNHCR, UN Women and Aspire Woman Initiative.

The event ended with a live musical performance by a group of musicians who are students at the AUC.

The outcome of the event is that it provided a cloud for unification of event celebration with national partners, diversification of presentations/visuals and activities, supporting young talents and giving the floor to youth groups and students to create activities and share knowledge. In addition, the creative Art work/caricature was a useful tool to send direct messages about the challenges, women face to the audience.