This Recent Cabinet Reshuffle Has Just Made History For Women, Here’s Why!
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail appointed two new female ministers in the cabinet reshuffle last Sunday; Enas Abdel Dayem as Minister of Culture, and Rania Al-Mashat as Minister of Tourism.
Before the reshuffle, Ismail’s cabinet had already appointed three women, namely Dr. Ghada Fathy Wali, Minister of Social Solidarity, Sahar Ahmed Mohamed Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation, and Nabila Makram Wasef, Minister of State for Immigration and Expatriates Affairs. Ismail’s cabinet thus becomes the first Egyptian cabinet to boast 6 female ministers, making up almost 20% of the total current ministers.
Abdel Dayem was appointed as Egypt’s Minister for Culture in Sunday’s reshuffle. She had also been the Dean of the Cairo Conservatoire since 2004 and has been the Director of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra since 2003 until present, as well as the Head of the Department of Woodwind Instruments at Cairo Conservatoire. On top of all that, she served as Chairperson of Cairo Opera House in 2012. While Mashat was the Vice Head of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), until her career path shined with her new position as the Minister of Tourism.
However, even before the reshuffle, Egypt ranked 99th among 144 countries in occupying higher positions for women; and on the scale of the Arab world, Egypt ranked 4th among 14 Arab countries according to the State Information Serice2016 report of the gender gap. Then later, 2017 was launched as a year of the Egyptian woman, which was an idea that was adopted by President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi.