The United States Agency for International Development in Egypt (USAID/Egypt) is in the process of designing a new five-year, $30-40 million activity to support gender equality and female empowerment, with a concentration on advancement of the enabling environment for women’s empowerment; economic opportunity; and, prevention and protection from gender- based violence (GBV). Request for information has been published in June 2019.

The proposed activity, Nosf Misr (Half of Egypt), responds to the U.S. Government and the Government of Egypt’s (GOE) shared policy priorities on gender equality and female empowerment, as well as USAID/Egypt’s desire to increase inclusive economic governance; combat gender-based violence; and improve the public participation of females. It recognizes that Egypt’s broader economic and social development requires the removal of barriers to participation of women – 50% of the population – and supporting them to achieve their full potential.

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative is a global, interagency program of the U.S. Government (USG). It is based on the knowledge that when women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability. In February 2019, President Trump, established the W-GDP Initiative, the first whole-of- government effort to advance global women’s economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships.

USAID’s theory of change for this program is:

  • ♦ If the enabling environment including legal, economic, and social systems are strengthened on behalf of women and girls; AND
  • ♦ If the economic opportunities for women and girls are increased; AND
  • ♦ If the services and referral mechanisms are strengthened for women and girls;
  • ♦ THEN, women and girls will be more empowered to live full economic and social

Gender equality concerns women and men, and it involves working with men and boys as well as women and girls to bring about changes in attitudes, behaviors, roles and responsibilities at home, in the workplace, and in the community.

For the purposes of this activity, USAID quantifies female empowerment is achieved when women and girls acquire the power to act freely, exercise their rights, and fulfill their potential as full and equal members of society

The proposed USAID activity has three objectives:

Objective One: Strengthen Legal, Economic and Social Enabling Environments

Objective Two: Increase Economic Opportunity at the Individual, Household and Community Level

  • Sub-Objective 2.1: Increase participation by women in the Egyptian (private sector) labor force
  • Sub-Objective 2.2: Increase Economic Opportunity for Women Entrepreneur

Objective Three: Strengthen Referral Mechanisms and Service Provision Platforms

These objectives are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. USAID/Egypt anticipates that they will be implemented as a cohesive and coherent approach such that the legal and regulatory reforms supported under Nosf Misr should encourage economic opportunities for women and facilitate greater access to improved protection services. Similarly, Nosf Misr should foster economic opportunities for victims of GBV who participate in supported protection services.

Creative Partnerships: USAID welcomes creative approaches with local government, civil society, educational institutions and religious leaders to achieving the referenced objectives. Partnerships could include scaling up existing and successful program models addressing components of constraints to enabling environment; working with school teachers on removing gender stereotypes from classroom materials; and, leveraging corporate social responsibility funding to test pilot interventions.

Other partners include Private sector entities such as businesses in sectors that employ women (such as food processing), Business Development Centers, Incubators and Accelerators. 

Geographic Selection: USAID/Egypt anticipates that activities will take place in greater Cairo, targeted governorates of Upper Egypt and other governorates in Egypt identified in the offeror’s proposal or application. Site selection and target beneficiaries should be coordinated across all three objectives to represent a coherent approach to empowering women.

Preferred implementing approaches:

  1. "Top down and bottom up” approach to support GOE to implement their policies and strategies 
  2. Community and private sector partnerships
  3. Coherent and integrated approach to empowering women
  4. Innovative approaches to changing public attitudes towards violence against women and women’s economic participation
  5. Creating Safe and Women-Friendly Workplaces
  6. Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs): Developed by UN Women and UN Global Compact
  7. Gender-Sensitive Value Chain Analysis

To get a copy of the RFI, Click Here

NO Comment 19th November 2019

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