Cairo- The National Council for Women (NCW)in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)has announced awarding the Gender Seal Award in the public sector to the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) within the framework of starting the process of the Gender Equality Seal Award in public institutions.

MSMEDA is the first entity in Egypt and the Arab region to receive this seal. Egypt is also the first country in the Arab region to test the criteria of the gender seal and the second country in the world. This is an international recognition for the role of institutions in Egypt in including gender equality standards and equal opportunities at all levels within its framework.

Gender equality assessment is a tool that contributes to determining the criteria used by public institutions to integrate gender equality issues. The evaluation team consists of experts who work in the field of gender equality in United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Council for Women.

The evaluation was based on six criteria: management responsive to gender, capacities and competencies, internal enabling environment, partnerships / alliances, gender responsive implementation mechanisms, and the impact of policies. The evaluation was based on three pillars data and information from secondary and primary sources within and outside the organization, as well as the collection of secondary data from internal reports and direct information gathered from individual meetings and interviews with the sectors and active departments MSMEDA , group discussions held with the employees and surveys and meetings to listen to the opinion of the staff and the partners, in addition to representatives from the civil society and other members.

This evaluation contributed to the development of an action plan to test these criteria in several sectors (public sector and private sector) within Egypt in the current period in order to benefit from the resources and opportunities to empower women economically and socially. In addition to this, this evaluation has helped to discuss the future vision of MSMEDA in order to work along with the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030 and to promote the participation of women and men in the labor market to achieve sustainable development.

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