The majority of the economic activities in Egypt is concentrated in the North of the Country, especially in big cities such as Cairo and its surrounding areas. The Southern economy is mainly based on agriculture, husbandry and, to a lesser degree, commerce. Although, Upper Egypt’s cultural craft heritage is particularly impressive considering the range of different crafts and of different culturally identifiable artisans’ communities, the lack of private and governmental investments prevents the full development of this sector. The poverty level registered in Upper Egypt is one of the higher of the whole Country, the Governorate of Sohag, in particular, stands out for the severely weak economic conditions still existing in most of its villages. This situation negatively affects inhabitants of remote areas and, in particular, women that are often also subject to gender-based discrimination, reaching the worst record in Upper Egypt.
In the light of this, the Movement for Self-Development, Interchange and Solidarity (M.A.I.S.) has chosen to develop the project “Becoming Leaders: Creation of working opportunities and sustainable economic development for Upper Egypt’s women” which aims at enhancing and support productive activities of a group of artisans of the Governorate of Sohag, in order to improve economic and social conditions of local women and, indirectly, of other sectors of the population dwelling in the area.
The strategy is based on the creation of a Handicraft Committee of women who will play an active role in the safeguard of the traditional handicrafts of the area. The Handicraft Committee and a group of local artisans will be supported through a series of technical and managerial trainings that will allow them to be more competitive in the market, contributing to the creation of new opportunities, both on the market of goods and labour. The project will play a significant role towards the achievement of women’s economic empowerment by targeting unemployed women and girls victims of violence, as beneficiaries of skills development and micro finance actions.
This action is funded by Italian Egyptian Debt for Development Swap Program
Since 2002, M.A.I.S. works in Egypt to support poverty alleviation with a special focus on disadvantaged groups and social inclusion as well as sustainable social, human, environmental and economic development. In specific M.A.I.S. intervenes in the following sectors and themes: Women Empowerment, access to Micro Credit, capacity building, awareness campaigns at grassroots level.
For more information, please check the link below.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.