Egypt: Establishing a Post-graduate Degree in Gender and Development at Cairo University

Added on:  30-Mar-2015

On 30 March 2015, under the Spring Forward for Women programme, UN Women Country Director a.i., Mr. Ziad Sheikh, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the President of Cairo University, Professor Dr. Gaber Nassar, and the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS), Professor Dr. Hala Elsaid. The MOU provides a framework for the establishment and launch of a post-graduate multi-disciplinary degree (either an M.A. or Professional Diploma) in Gender and Development that is tailored to the specific needs of the university and builds on its existing expertise and knowledge base. The objective of the degree programme is to enhance the capacity of policy makers, civil servants, NGOs, journalists, and others working to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment by strengthening their conceptual and analytical skills in gender policy and equipping them with specialized knowledge and competencies to be capable of advocating for legislations, policies, and budgets that are gender sensitive and rights based.

To this end, UN Women contracted the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex to provide technical support and advice to FEPS. IDS have played a historically pioneering role in developing gender theory and praxis and have supported academic, think tank and development partners worldwide in developing their own research centres, degrees and projects in gender. IDS will offer its institutional resources in support of Cairo University’s faculty and staff that includes (1) academic technical support in gender studies and in learning and teaching approaches, (b) access to the wide array of resources in the library and in the various research centres, and (3) access to networks with other research institutes including those offering gender degrees in London (ex; SOAS, LSE).  UN Women will also support Cairo University in developing a self-sustaining publication strategy to provide Egyptian scholars interested in gender issues with space to publish their research and to meet the demand for serious research on gender issues in Arabic and English. It will also facilitate the establishment of linkages with other women/gender studies centres and programmes, both nationally and internationally, as well as with civil society organizations in Egypt to ensure the degree programme is embedded in the national context and responds to labour market needs and policy priorities.

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