Symposium on Women, Peace and Security with the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies
On June 20, 2021, a consultative session was held between a number of members of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA) and the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS), regarding the development of the “National Action Plan on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda”, which the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced the start of its drafting in May 2019, based on the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1325 of 2000. The symposium was chaired by Dr. Abdel Moneim Saeed, Chairman of the ECSS Advisory Board, and was attended by a group of members and experts from both institutions, including Minister Dr. Moushira Khattab, and ambassadors: Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, Mohamed Anis Salem, Hajar Al Islambouli, Souad Shalaby, Mona Omar, Gilan Allam, Dr. Heba Gamal El Din, Dr. Dalal Mahmoud, ECSS Executive Director for the Project, as well as Counselor Ahmed El Naggar, President of the Court of Appeal and Research Expert for the project.
The consultative session focused on three axes: how Egypt supports the women, peace and security agenda; How to highlight the importance of women’s role in decision-making in the agenda; and possible Egyptian efforts regionally and globally to support the agenda. The session aimed to answer a number of related questions, including: What are the main security threats facing women inside Egypt? To what extent are Egyptian efforts in empowering women and supporting gender equality compatible with the political capabilities of the state? How can Egypt support the women, peace and security agenda in its foreign policy? What are the candidate countries or regions for that? What are the obstacles facing Egyptian policy in the issue of enhancing the role of women in the field of peace and security?
On their part, the participants agreed on the necessity for Egypt to move forward in formulating its first plan in this regard, especially since Egyptian women receive basic support from the country’s political leadership and civil society, in the context of their enjoyment of many constitutional benefits that were not available to them in the past. In this context, the following has been recommended: Commitment to the international agenda and its generality, without imposing the Egyptian character and its specificity on it; Paying attention to the terms and concepts that are used in the relevant research study; A networked compilation of all aspects of women’s empowerment in Egypt, as well as violence as an attempt to address it; the necessity of linking equality in the educational process since childhood between females and males, and expanding the base of women’s participation in various positions in the state, and the possibility of introducing the Egyptian “Dignified Life” initiative in international institutions in order to spread it in developing countries, with the support of these institutions; and Egypt’s suggestion of an Arab or African regional initiative in order to deal with this issue and how to promote it.