The launch of the "Sailing Boats" Campaign against Gender-Based Violence. UNDP Egypt/Mohamed Ragaa

In commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), The National Council for Women (NCW) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched the ‘Sailing Boats’ Awareness Campaign in an official ceremony hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo.

With the attendance of national counterparts, development partners, UN personnel and the media, the ‘Sailing Boats’ Awareness Campaign was launched. 16 different boats branded with 16 key messages against GBV will set sail in the River Nile during the 16 Days of Activism. The key messages aim to raise awareness on various issues relating to women empowerment and violence against women such as Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual Harassment and Early Marriage while advocating and promoting female education and gender equality.

The event was highlighted by the attendance of H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women; H.E. Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to Egypt and Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn, Resident Representative of the UNDP in Egypt.

The Swedish Ambassador Jan Thesleff said: “I am very proud to be the representative of the first Feminist Government in the world and to be an EU Gender Champion in Egypt, together with my EU Colleague, H.E. Ambassador Ivan Surkoš. A Feminist Foreign Policy means that we have decided to make the three R’s: Rights, Representation and Resources of all women and girls central to all our policies and actions.” He also added “To face Gender Based Violence, when we work to prevent, we need to change the minds and when we bring to justice, we need to see gender-based and domestic violence as the criminal acts they are. Everyone in society has a role to play in ending violence against women and girls. I am honored to stand here with champions, H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy of the National Council for Women, and Ms. Randa Abul-Hosn from the UNDP. It is our task, but also the task of all, men, boys, of all Swedes and Egyptians to do the same.”

In her remarks, UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn highlighted that “We work every day ―and not just for 16 days― on realizing the global development agenda that is governed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where all the 17 SDGs acknowledge and prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as eliminating all forms of violence against women” and commended the Egyptian government for its laudable efforts in tackling the different forms of GBV, such as the framework of the implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women 2015-2020 Strategy, the draft law to combat all forms of violence against women drafted by the Legislative Committee of the National Council for Women and the timely establishment of the National Taskforce for Ending FGM.

The ‘Sailing Boats’ campaign will continue touring the Nile on its designated route-targeting busy areas in Cairo- during the whole 16 Days of Activism.

For more information, please contact:

Fatma Elzahraa Yassin

Communications Analyst

UNDP Egypt





The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an international campaign that takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs recognizes gender equality and the empowerment of women as a key priority and pledges that “no one will be left behind.” Goal 5 of the agenda aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and includes specific targets to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. All goals are integrated and indivisible, therefore their achievement is also fully dependent on ensuring parallel and interconnected implementation of the efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.

About Sweden:

Sweden’s work in the region to promote female participation in the economy is extensive and includes both educational training, financial aid and other programs. The Swedish international development cooperation agency (Sida) supports, in partnership with Egyptian ministries and authorities, UN agencies and civil society actors, an integrated programme on social, economic and legal empowerment of Egyptian women. The objective is to strengthen women’s empowerment, as well as increase the participation of women in politics, business and society.

Join the conversation online and support the 16 Days of Activism by using:  #16Days #EUGenderChampion, #GenerationEquality.

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