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The embassies of Mexico and 5 European countries celebrate Egyptian Women’s Day in Cairo

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Today, the Mexican Embassy in Cairo organized a celebration on the occasion of International Women’s Day and Egyptian Women’s Day, to distribute the “Pioneers of Change” awards for the fourth year in a row, in cooperation with the embassies of Canada and Sweden, as well as the Czech Republic, France and Germany.

The “Pioneers of Change” awards were launched in 2020, to honor the contributions of Egyptian gender equality pioneers and their efforts in building a stronger Egypt. The awards ceremony is held in conjunction with the celebration of International Women’s Day and Egyptian Women’s Day, and this year’s slogan is “Inspiring Inclusion.”

Louis Dumas, Ambassador of Canada to Cairo, Ivan Yukl, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Cairo, Raphael Martin de Lagarde, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of France in Cairo, Frank Hartmann, Ambassador of Germany to Cairo, Leonora Rueda, Ambassador of Mexico to Cairo, and Hakan Emsgaard, Ambassador of Sweden to Cairo, celebrated. Highlights of the social, economic and political achievements of distinguished Egyptian women, as each of these six countries is long-standing advocates of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

During the ceremony, the winners of 2024 were honored, and they are:

1- Manal Abdel Moneim: One of the entrepreneurs who has projects in the field of consumer goods, renewable energy, waste management, and agricultural business. She works to empower rural women by eradicating illiteracy and supporting their businesses in the field of food, agriculture, and handicrafts, with the aim of achieving their financial independence and obtaining official financing.

2- Namis Arnous: Founder of the E7kky platform, which focuses on women’s empowerment and gender equality.

3- Soraya Bahjat: She is a human rights activist and founder of the “Body Guard Liberation” organization, which focuses on combating sexual harassment. She also participates in the “Girls’ Generation” organization, which strives to end female genital mutilation in Africa (FGM).

4- Salma El-Laqani: Founder of an innovative store that creates recycled products in cooperation with women living on the banks of the Nile, with an approach that focuses on the humanitarian aspect.

5- Mai Farid: CEO of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Authority, Assistant Minister of Finance for Economic Justice, who heads the comprehensive health insurance reform that France has supported since 2019, along with other donors.

6- Fatima Ibrahim: Founder of The Sex Talk, an innovative and pioneering non-profit organization that has received recognition for its commitment to human rights.

7- Hala Khalil: Egyptian film director, producer, and writer. Her films, which focus on the daily stories of Egyptian women and the separation of their being from men, have received critical acclaim. They are also considered an important part of the feminist movement in Egypt, which made her a prominent figure at the forefront of female directors in the region. .

8- Fatima Metwally: Entrepreneur, working in the field of peanuts, founder and CEO of a peanut factory, which is considered a male-dominated sector from Upper Egypt. The factory produces 2 tons of peanuts per day, and works in the field of export.

9- Sarah Sabry: The first Egyptian astronaut to travel to space on board Blue Origin flight NS-22. She later founded the Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a non-profit organization based in Colorado, USA, that aims to increase access to space by providing opportunities in research and education, while enabling space exploration for all of humanity.

10- Geraldine Samir Tawfik: Director of Samusocial International in Egypt, which contributes to enhancing access to better living conditions and better rights for vulnerable and marginalized groups of homeless children, including girls and young mothers.

11- Yara Shalaby: The first female rally racer in Egypt, a champion in desert racing, the Egyptian Sports Ambassador to the International Automobile Federation (FIA), and a member of the Women’s Motorsport Committee of the International Automobile Federation.

12- Hanaa Shehata: Director of the Canada Office at the Ministry of International Cooperation, which is a major partner of Canada and responsible for agreements between the Egyptian government and the Canadian government. It provides continued support for Canadian development aid, which currently reaches more than 123,000 beneficiaries in 6 provinces.

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