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The National Council for Women (NCW) and UNFPA virtually inaugurated on May 11 four new Safe Women’s Clinics, at the Minya, Beni Suef, Benha and 6th of October University Hospitals, with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Cairo.

The clinics offer comprehensive services for women subjected to violence, including medical services, as well as multi-sectoral referral to legal and social services in coordination with NCW.

In her address, Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women, underlined the important role the medical sector plays in responding to cases of violence, explaining that doctors and nurses are the first entry point for women and girls subjected to violence.

She explained that the unit is a safe space that allows women to relay their experiences while maintaining their privacy and confidentiality of information, adding that a number of women who visited the units that were opened in 2020 have already been referred to the council’s women's complaints office and to specialized legal entities.

Dr. Morsy confirmed that the units will provide services by trained doctors and nurses on how to provide initial psychological support and referral to the relevant entities working in the field of combating violence against women.

She also praised the ongoing cooperation with UNFPA to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.  

On her part, Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative in Egypt, highlighted the important partnership with university hospitals to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, adding that she hoped there would eventually be a Safe Women’s Clinic in each governorate.

“We are proud to be working alongside each University Hospital to empower doctors, nurses and patients to stand against all forms of violence against women and girls,” she said. “We are also proud to coordinate among line ministries, government stakeholders, partners and organizations to continue our joint efforts in this matter. We are certain this is the right direction to eliminate violence against women and girls.”

The virtual event also brought together the Presidents of the Minya, Beni Suef, Benha and 6th of October universities as well as senior medical staff engaged in the Safe Women clinics in the universities.

Dr. Mustafa Abdel Naby, President of Minya University, said that he hoped the Safe Women’s Clinic at the university hospital becomes the destination of every woman and girl subjected to violence. His counterpart at Beni Suef University, Dr. Mansour Hassan, said that they stand ready to allocate the university’s resources to raise awareness around violence against women and girls and combat it. 

Dr. Gamal Samy, President of the 6th of October University, expressed pride in heading the first private university to establish a Safe Women’s Clinic, adding that the university is actively seeking to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women.  

President of Benha University, Dr. Gamal Sosa, also said that they seek to enhance the culture of combating violence against women and girls on campus.

He explained that the University set up a hotline for the Safe Women’s Clinic as well as a social media page to publicize its services.  

The National Council for Women has signed protocols with the universities to establish medical response units at the university hospitals.

The four clinics bring the total of Safe Women’s Clinics at university hospitals to eight nationally, with clinics established at Qasr al-Ainy, Mansoura, Ain Shams and Assiut University Hospitals. 

NCW and UNFPA have also inaugurated the first Safe Women’s Clinic at the Primary Health Care level in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Population and the General Secretariat of Mental Health in April at the Ahalina Medical Center in Cairo, with more in the pipeline, planned throughout this year.