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International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research launches population curriculum with UNFPA, EU

Al-Azhar University’s International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research (IICPSR) and UNFPA launched the Population Education Curriculum and the Family Planning and the Opinions of Contemporary Imams of Jurisprudence manual, with the support of the European Union (EU) on June 27.

The event took place at Al-Azhar Conference Center in the attendance of Dr. Nazir Ayad, Secretary-General of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy, Dr. Gamal Sorour, Director of IICPSR, UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer, and Ambassador of the EU to Egypt, Christian Berger.

The Population Education Curriculum was updated by a group of experts headed by Dr. Sorour and will be used as a curriculum for the first time. It will be taught in more than 56 faculties related to sciences and religion.

Its chapters tackle the demography, economic and water resources in the Islamic world as well as human development. Other chapters tackle population and health, reproductive health and family planning as well as religious perspective on population issues including violence against women and harmful practices.

The manual on the other hand brings to light the Islamic perspective on family planning from the most prestigious religious leaders in Egypt. It will also be used by religious leaders from the Ministry of Endowments and students from al-Azhar University.

“Both the curriculum and the manual are important tools that can be used by religious leaders, policy makers and researchers, civil society and development agencies, not only in Egypt but in the Arab States and other counties with a Muslim population,” Meijer said.

Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt, Christian Berger, confirmed that “The European Union supports the implementation of Egypt’s National Population Strategy through increasing awareness on related issues in line with the country’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Vision 2030”.

Both the curriculum and the manual are important tools that can be used by religious leaders, policy makers, researchers, civil society and development agencies, not only Egypt and Arab States region, but also other countries with Muslim populations.

Under the EU Support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy project, UNFPA partners with faith-based organizations such as Al-Azhar University’s International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research and the the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services (BLESS) and to engage religious leaders to amplify the project’s mandate among their communities.

The EU Support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy project aims to increase the use of voluntary, rights-based family planning, with the support of an EU-grant of €27 Million, in cooperation with UNFPA.