UN Migration Agency (IOM) Celebrates International Women’s Day at the Finish Embassy and Kicks off Upcoming Community Days

Cairo, 8 March – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) joined with the Embassy of the Republic of Finland in Egypt to host an event at the Ambassador’s residence in celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.

During the day, migrant – Ethiopian, Sudanese and Syrian – and Egyptian women showcased their artisanal handicrafts at a bazaar. This continued throughout the evening reception, at which time traditional Ethiopian coffee was also made by Ethiopian women and available to attendees.

Two Syrian female migrants testified to their experience in front of an audience composed of diplomats, UN representatives, governmental partners, community leaders and civil society actors.

Rawaa explainedI came to Egypt alone because my husband had to stay in Syria. I felt lonely and sad but I had to take up the roles of mother, father and daughter. […] Four years later, my husband arrived and we were finally reunited. […] I am currently supporting him with all my experiences and lessons learned in Egypt.”

This intervention by beneficiaries gave the audience insight into contemporary migration stories and the role that women can choose or have to take on. Both women received a plaque to express appreciation for “the continued contribution of outstanding women in building a stronger society.”

Additionally, IOM’s “Feel How Gender Shapes Migration” exhibition was displayed at the event: a tailored six-panel exhibit introduced attendees to the multi-faceted interactions that gender migration.

“Let us consider 8th of March as the first day of a Women Year," said Laurent de Boeck, Representative of IOM Egypt, "by reviewing what we personally have achieved during the last 365 days for ensuring higher respect and promotion of women engagement in our societies, and concurrently ascertaining our commitment to enhance and facilitate the pivotal roles of women in the 365 days to come”.

The event was also the opportunity to kick off an upcoming community day, which will be organized by IOM later in March in cooperation with a local NGO partner, Bashayer. The event will be held in Helwan and, in honour of International Women’s Day, target 500-600 migrant and Egyptian women through the provision of services such as diabetes and hypertension screenings, awareness raising sessions on breast cancer, and the distribution of dignity kits.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 thus was in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 Gender Equality, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and 17, Partnership for the Goals. The community days will further support the achievement of SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being.

This initiative also follows national priorities as outlined in Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Vision 2030, including with regards to the social justice pillar: “by 2030, Egypt is a fair interdependent society characterized by equal economic, social, political rights and opportunities realizing social inclusion.”


For more information, please contact Ms Nourhane Hussein at: Tel: +202-27365140; Email: iomegypt@iom.int.