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Reworking gender roles in Egypt


In Egypt women are pushing gender boundaries in a country that ranks ranks low in gender equity.

Women are entering into traditionally male-dominated jobs as the nation continues to battle economic hardships.

One of the women is Asmaa Megahed who is in the carpentry industry.

“Firstly, all my siblings are boys, and at the beginning, they were all against me working here, and my mother was against it too, and she used to say, ‘You’re putting yourself through too much trouble. Don’t go out. You’re always out. You’re out all day’, and my brothers would say, ‘Why are you doing this to yourself? Why don’t you stay at home and let him take care of you?’ But it’s not about food and drink, it’s about how every woman has goals she wishes to achieve, and about how every woman wants to prove herself,” said Megahed.

Organisations such as the National Council for Women is shining the light on helping women enter the workforce.

The president of the council Maya Morsy said, “In 2017, we’re focusing on economic empowerment, to create productive women, in various fields, whether they work in recycling, carpentry or art, work that has taken them to global success, or hard-working women who have launched small projects, and medium-sized projects, and we’re focusing on how to make them succeed, and market their products, and how to enter the field of economic empowerment with skills.”

According to the IMF, raising the female labour force participation rate to the male level is essential to promoting economic growth in Egypt.


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