Economic growth and gender equality are two important themes running through all funding programs of CANADA’sDepartment of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) in Egypt and the region. In the past there was an emphasis on policy reforms but the DFATD’s current funding trends is leaning more towards market ideology in which programs focus on the creation of jobs and income directly affecting women’s livelihodd including giving them the power to interact in the economy. From 2001 to 2011 CANADA allocated between US$ 12 million and US$16 million to Egypt annually. However, this sum was down to US$ 5.0 million in the fiscal year 2012-2013 and thereafter. Currently DFATD supports four programs in Egypt including

  • Employment skills development program run by Aga Khan Foundation Canada for young women and men Aswan governorate
  • The Decent Employment for Youth Project, run by the International Labor Organization.
  • Educational program to be implemented by Save the Children Canada, Plan Canada and CARE Canada in communities where Syrian refugees have been relocated
  • DFATD will be contributing $7.85 million to the World Food Program’s School Feeding for Host Communities project, also in refugee-hosting communities

DFATD will announce a call for proposal for a 12.0 USM$ project that aims at increasing employment opportunities for women that are generated both by women entreprenuers and other businesses. In other words the project supports women’s entrepreneurship and women’s participation in the work force. The project will address gender-specific barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and to women entering into and remaining in the work force. The new program, which seems to be targeted at women exclusively, might therefore fall short of addressing some of the cultural barriers that prevent women from becoming entrepreneurs therefore the need should be focusing on both genders. Culturally, men are the ones who are taking charge of the family, so they should have proper employment as well to gain proper income. Including both men and women as beneficiaries lies in-line with the change of DFATD’s language which is replacing equality between women and men instead of the exclusive use of gender equality. Become a member of DARPE to see the DFATD’s call for proposal and other procurement notices of tenders and grants the minute they are published.

By NO Comment 25th August 2015

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