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Gender Awareness

Sexual harassment, violence, genital mutilation: According to a 2013 study by the Thomas Reuter Foundation, women’s rights are being violated in Egypt more than in any other Arabic country. At the same time, public awareness of this injustice is growing. The fight against sexual harassment has entered public discourse in recent years thanks to courageous campaigns such as HarassMap, and is being fought from many different sides.

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  • Gender Workshop University Assiut Goethe-Institut Cairo / Nadia Mounir
  • First Day Gender Trainings Luxor Goethe-Institut Cairo / Sabry Khaled

The Goethe-Institut and its local partners offer diverse training opportunities, workshops and a digital repository of information that aim at strengthening the confidence and role of Egyptian women in civil society. In addition, regular meetings between representatives of organisations concerned with gender issues and women’s empowerment serve to connect local actors and offer room for discussion.

Awareness Raising and Empowerment

The Goethe-Institut promotes the growing public awareness of gender issues, as well as the fight against discrimination and outdated social roles through training and workshops that provide for intensive and long-term qualification of a focus group of women and men from the region. This includes a series of gender awareness trainings facilitated with the support of local experts for school students in Cairo and the Nile Valley, as well as for young women and men in Upper Egypt. In the training of students, the Goethe-Institut builds on a new cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education starting from autumn 2018.

The Institute’s workshops in Upper Egypt seek to encourage participants, including professional women and university students, to analyse their environment according to gender specific-aspects. This enables them to reflect on their own position and biography within their societal context, and helps to overcome the ascription of outdated social roles. In training-of-trainers workshops, where the stimulation of dialogue between men and women about gender issues is of key importance, participants obtain qualification to work as training instructors themselves, and thus become multipliers of knowledge on gender.

Room for Discussion

Regular meetings at the premises of the Goethe-Institut offer local actors a platform for exchange and discussion. Networking events were expanded in 2017 to Egypt’s disadvantaged regions in order to connect resident organisations and Goethe alumni and create room for discussion about gender issues. The here established contacts will advance the development and implementation of project ideas for the long-term benefit of the target groups. Furthermore, the collaborative knowledge platform Wiki-Gender, whose core element is a gender-themed encyclopaedia in Arabic, has been a key tool since 2015 in connecting NGOs and activists advocating for gender equality across the region and to support awareness-raising efforts among the broader public.

A project of the Goethe-Institut, funded by the Federal Foreign Office.