Egyptian Feminist Union launches MDGs and Beijing 20+ Conference for Arab women
Mervat Al-Tallawy - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Egyptian Feminist Union held the first session for the Arab Women Conference under the “Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) and Beijing 20 +” in Cairo to discuss the status of Arab women and priorities during the upcoming period of 2015 to 2017, in participation of 13 Arab states and the Alliance for Arab Women, Youm7 reported Thursday.

Hoda Badran,  the President of the Alliance for Arab Women and the chair of the Feminist Union, said this two-day conference is the first to be held for female leaders in the Arab world after the Arab Spring, in addition to the important growing role of civil society which has helped mutual cooperation among Arab states, MENA reported Sunday.

Head of the National Council for Women Mervat Tallawy highlighted the issues still faced by women in Egypt, including the lack of political participation in positions of power.

Tallawy said that Arab women’s causes are related because of the same mentalities, adding that the development of the Arab woman is necessary for the development of the entire Arab nation, or else “a generation of terrorists is about to grow,” Youm7 further reported.

Beheira Governor Mostafa Hadhoud said he beleived in the role of women on a provincial level, especially in institutions such as schools.

The 2104 constitution, despite not having specified a percentage of representation for women in the parliament, allocated 25 percent of seats at local councils for women.

The conference was attended by representatives of the UNDP, the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Presidential Advisor for women’s affairs Sakina Fouad and Head of the Arab League’s Department for Motherhood and Childhood Inas Mekawy.

Last February, during the League of Arab States conference in Cairo, U.N. Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri said “As the global community intensifies efforts to achieve the MDGs, it also formulates a new generation of development goals and a post-2015 development agenda. We are also approaching the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.”

Mekawy referred to a similar point adding that there is an aim to establish a developmental program aimed at gender equality and women empowerment in the post-2015 agenda of sustainable development goals.

 Additional reporting by Marwa el-Ghoul.

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