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Egypt: Your ID, Your Rights Targets Women

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Development, Governance, Human Rights, Women & Gender, 7 Billion Actions

According to figures coming from the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, as many as 4 million women [1] in the country do not have national identity cards. A woman without a national ID is not able to own land [2], she cannot buy or sell assets and she cannot even inherit [3] from her deceased family members.

The lack of IDs also prevent women the access to various of public services, including education, healthcare, the right to vote and other basic social rights. And that's why a new campaign has been launched aiming to provide all women with national ID cards.

The campaign is called “Your ID, Your Rights” and their goal is to issue IDs to 2 million Egyptian women for free. It will start with a pilot for three months [4].

2 Million IDs to 2 Million Women [5]

2 Million IDs to 2 Million Women

According to the campaign's Facebook page [ar]:

المرحلة التجريبية سوف تشمل الـ 3 شهور القادمة (ابتداءا من مارس) و سوف تبدأ في محافظة القليوبية و هي تضم 14 مركز و تهدف أكثر من 40 ألف سيدة لا تملك بطاقة رقم قومي. تم أختيار المراكز التالية فى محافظة القليوبية للمرحلة التجريبية: مركز بنها، مركز قليوب، مركز شبين القناطر ومركز القناطر الخيرية

The pilot will be for three months, starting from March, and it will take place in the Qaliobeya governorate, which has 14 districts, and the target of the pilot period are 40,000 women with no ID cards. The following districts have been chosen in the Qaliobeya for the pilot period: Benha, Qalioub, Shebin El Kanater and El-Kanater El-Khayreya districts.
According to UN report in 2006, 41% of the adult females in Egypt are illiterate. Photo courtesy of Ilene Perlman. [6]

According to UN report in 2006, 41% of the adult females in Egypt are illiterate. Photo courtesy of Ilene Perlman.

This isn't the first campaign [7] of try to achieve the same goal, however this one is supported by various NGOs, including UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women [8]), UNDP (United Nations Development Program [9]), MSAD (Ministry of State for Administrative Development [10]), SFD (Social Fund for Development [11]), MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs [12]), and others.

The campaign organisers are also making use of social media to spread awareness about the project. They have launched accounts on Twitter [13] and Facebook [14] to raise awareness about the campaign as well as gender inequality issues in the country.

On Twitter, they announced:

@Million_ID [15]: تم تصنيف مصررقم 120 من بين 128 دولة علي قياس الفجوة بين الجنسين
@Million_ID [15]: Egypt is ranked number 120 among 128 countries when it comes to gender inequality.
Your ID, Your Rights [16]

Your ID, Your Rights

Finally, they want people to help them raise awareness about the campaign by sharing and retweeting their posts on Facebook and Twitter.

And here's how they frame their appeal to netizens:

@Million_ID [17]: هدفنا اونلاين مش اننا نوصل للنساء في القري و لكن هدفنا هو نشر الوعي للناس من الطبقة المتوسطة و العليا
@Million_ID [17]: The goal of our presence online is not the reach the women in villages, but to raise awareness about the campaign among middle and upper class.