RMEI TARGET FINAL CONFERENCE. Cairo 27-28 November 2021

RMEI has co-organized with the president prof FATMA ASHOUR, Director of the Center of Hazard Mitigation, Environmental Studies and Research, Coordinator of the Green Process Engineering Master’s Program GPE at the Faculty of Engineering – Cairo University, the final TARGET dissemination event, in Cairo, the 27-28 of November 2021. 

The rational of the Conference was that women play an essential role in the development of the society and its welfare. In many primitive places around the world, the capabilities of women and their rights in contribution in society are still limited in basic household chores. In those places, women may not be allowed to vote in political elections, work in certain fields, or become leaders and managers. However, the presence of initiatives, institutions and conferences that stood out for gender equity, contributed in switching those fallacious beliefs, presenting women’s potential and power that can change the world. This is revealed by many honorable women models in various fields including research and energy sectors, engineering, medicine, astronomy, politics, art, etc. In the Mediterranean countries, especially Egypt, the gender equity experience was remarkably successful as women imprinted by their high performance mainly in recent decades. More girls were educated even in rural areas, women incredibly permeated the business market. They made important explorations of new ways for treatment of various diseases in the field of medicine. They were better achieving life balance between work and home duties.

 Two discussion panels took place consisted by ministers, university top managers, United Nations officer, business and industry representatives, shipping, gas, petroleum sectors, industrial equipment sectors, experts from Jordan, professors, and practitioners.  

1st panel: Strategies for Sustainability and Gender Equality in Work FieldWe discussed the equality between men and women that was officially recognized as a global goal by the world community in the Charter of the United Nations in 1945, and was later confirmed in several treaties, conventions and agreements, most notably the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, which was endorsed by UN Member States at the Fourth World Conference on Women: Equality, Development and Peace, held in 1995.

In this panel, different strategies discussed to be followed in public and private sector and the discussion were trickled around the questions: 

– What are the challenges to integrate these strategies?
– How can we enhance them?

2nd panel: European and Middle East practices Egypt practices:

We discussed concerns about culture that are frequently raised in relation to initiatives for Gender Equality (Men – Women) in development cooperation. In some cases the promotion of gender equality “interferes with local culture”, and therefore gender equality is not be promoted. In other cases, the cultural values of a particular area are described as a major constraint on efforts for gender equality. Egyptian women represent 50% of the country’s population. A number of global studies confirm that businesses and companies that close their gender gap enjoy increased profitability. This means that when more women work, economies grow…. (World Bank).

The discussion took place around the questions:

1. Are these concerns valid in the Mediterranean?
2. What should we be doing as development workers? How much does this statement reflect on your work field?
3. What are the steps taken in your organization increase the woman role?

Research that conducted at Mediterranean countries by members of RMEI and others faculty has also been presented. TARGET project outcomes presented as well.

The conference concluded with a final statement and recommendations from all participants, on the importance of Gender Equality to support the efforts made by TARGET H-2020 PROJECT to achieve women development and sustainability among the Mediterranean countries, especially in the Middle East and Africa. 

The conference pointed out examples of fruitful movements opening new channels for more innovative developments and encouraging for application of gender equity towards a sustainable environment.

The ‘SUSTAINABILITY AND GENDER EQUALITY’ international Conference highlighted the importance of gender equality, as a fundamental human right, and in creating a more prosperous flourishing world.