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Gender Responsive National Plans colloquium, held by the National Council for Women (NCW) this May. The seminar aimed at reviewing the progress made in integrating gender in the National Development Plan and transforming the persistent challenges into action points for the next cycle, 2012–2017.

Dr. Ziad, the Representative of UNFPA in Egypt, took the opportunity to highlight the work UNFPA has been doing in the area of gender equality and to combat gender discrimination in Egypt, especially within the framework of UNFPA partnership with NCW in the project Gender Monitoring and Evaluation. This collaboration aims at  ensuring that needs of local women are reflected in the governorates and in the National Five-Year Plan.

“Achieving the sustainable development goals and peace will remain questionable if we don’t achieve women liberation from poverty, discrimination and accomplish gender equality”, said Rifai quoting Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of United Nations. As Dr. Ziad remarked, “In the Millennium Development Goals the third remains the hardest to achieve and women still are the weakest link.”
The conference was also graced with the presence of Farkhanda Hassan, Secretary General of the NCW; Dr. Othman Mohamed Othman, Minister of Economic Development; and Eng. Ayat Abdel Mo’oty, Head of the Equal Opportunities Department in the Ministry of Finance.
Eng. Ayat Abdel Mo’oty declared during her speech at the conference representing Dr. Youssef Boutros Ghaly, Minister of Finance, that during the upcoming financial year (2010–2011) gender responsive budgeting — through which a fair budget distribution is achieved between males and females — will be launched. This approach in turn leads to creating equal opportunities between males and females in the projects funded by this initiative.