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CAIRO, EGYPT — On December 29 a new chapter was written in the Interntational Conference on Population and Develoment (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA) in Egypt with the launch of the ICPD@15 Report “Population Status in Egypt”, hosted by the Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center with the support of UNFPA Egypt.

The event was a clear indicator of the importance that Egypt is giving to population issues, particularly with the attendance and participation of the Minister of Family and Population, H.E. Ambassdor Moushira Khattab. The full-day conference gathered more than 200 participants from a wide range of organizations with national representation.

The event was opened by Dr Ziad Rifai, Egypt UNFPA Representative, and acknowledged the efforts made towards the implementation of the Programme of Action in Egypt and the remaining challenges. Dr Magued Osman, IDSC Chairman and Project Director, followed him and addressed the highlights of the report. Women’s Empowerment, Human Rights, Employment and Family Planning were some of the subjects linked to the Population Status in Egypt.  The event was closed by H.E. Minister of Family and Population.

"This report comes out to highlight the progress achieved as well as the challenges faced in the implementation of ICPD PoA in Egypt throughout the last 15 years," said Dr Rifai.

In an environment where 89 percent of the population strongly agree that "when the number of jobs decreases, men should be given the priority over women in employment" and  66 percent concur that "a woman’s role as a homemaker gives her complete satisfaction, just as paid work," the overall issue of women’s empowerment can not be put aside.

This was also the cornerstone of the statement made by the Minister of Family and Population. Family and population is a concern that goes beyond figures; it is about the well-being of women, children and men; and a goal in itself that improves the quality of lives of families and by extension society and the country.

Throughout the day different chapters of the report were presented by the expert authors and audience members engaged in question-and-answer sessions regarding data and corresponding policies. The report was widely disseminated as well as a database of indicators and booklets highlighting the most striking findings of the report.

In UNFPA Egypt’s continuing work in promoting ICPD PoA, the Country Office will continue to advocate and disseminate this comprehensive report as an evidence-based tool.