Egypt has a population of 82,079,636 of whom 46.4% are women. Egypt is going through a demographic transition with 62.8% of the total population between the ages of 10 – 29, and a youth cohort of 18 to 29 year olds representing a quarter of the population. Despite the fact that the Egyptian Constitution guarantees the same political rights to all citizens – men and women alike – the social environment in the country has worked against women exercising their political rights. Values encouraging the civic engagement and participation of women in public affairs have coexisted with more reactionary values, and the conflict between the two has varied over time. The 2008 World Values Survey (WVS), which is a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities all over the world, found that there is a high prevalence among females with less than a university education that live in rural areas to avoidance of political activity altogether. Data also indicate that the majority of those who take part in voting behavior are males, accounting for 45% in contrast to the lower female 17%. Most males have university education and females with pre-university education keep away from politics.
Egypt’s political life is also deeply influenced by patterns of parental authority emanating from family traditions, with unquestioning obedience at their core. The educational process is still heavily dependent on top-down instruction, with bottom-up critical analysis absent from most of the different stages of schooling and higher education. Differing interpretations of ethical and religious values are also responsible for two contradictory aspects of civic participation in Egypt: complete withdrawal and extreme opposition. There are huge disparities in participation levels and evidence that outreach and civic engagement boost female youth participation.
Civic participation of school-aged female youth is not demonstrated just through periodic elections; it starts with full awareness and continued engagement in their communities by fostering an environment of belonging, dignity and initiative capable of promoting leadership. In other words, political participation is not just the casting of votes – it is a way of living.
Program Goals and Objectives
TAMKEEN is an Activity that grows out of the conviction that civic awareness and engagement are critically important for democracy and that voting is one of the facets of civic participation. The overall goals of this Activity are to increase the civic engagement of female school-aged youth (SAY) ages 15 to 23 and support Community Development Associations (CDAs) youth outreach activities using a tiered engagement approach: 1) Awareness; 2) Access; and 3) Practice. The objective of this tri-pronged approach is to include new, and often unheard, voices on local levels while addressing the issues that impede their participation. TAMKEEN will also focus on building the leadership skills of participants enabling them to create broad-based civic education campaigns in their local communities using creative approaches including: forum theater events, interactive café gatherings and market place events.
TAMKEEN will provide a flexible and fast-response mechanism addressing female youth civic engagement needed in Egypt. The approach used will be built on providing Civic Action Micro-grants, which are small grants ranging from EGP 30,000 (floor) to EGP 60,000 (ceiling) to small Community Development Associations (CDAs) the majority of which are village-based. These grants will primarily promote civic action initiatives by mobilizing female school-aged youth (SAY) to increase their civic education and engagement while helping Community Development
Associations (CDAs) build their organizational capacities. TAMKEEN plans on issuing one round of Civic Action Micrograntstargeting a total of 50 Community Development Associations (CDAs). Each sub-grantee will then recruit female school-aged youth (SAY) and work to increase their civic awareness All sub-grantees will organize activities to promote the civic engagement of female school-aged youth (SAY). TAMKEEN will work with Community Development Associations (CDAs), in targeted geographical areas, at large providing female school-aged youth (SAY) with an equal opportunity to participate in TAMKEEN activities without regard to race, religion, creed, or political ideology/affiliation.
The Activity will be implemented through partnerships with local Community Development Associations (CDAs) which are uniquely positioned to play a major role in closing participation gaps and invigorating democracy since they have these unique characteristics: 1) day to day contact with their local communities; 2) unique and trusting relationships with communities they serve; 3) non partisan approach that new and infrequent voters may appreciate; and 4) ability to integrate civic education and voter outreach into ongoing activities.
TAMKEEN will use a unique approach to engage female school-aged youth (SAY): 1) Awareness through civic education; 2) Access through the facilitation of civic engagement activities and providing of resources and finally 3) Practice where the participants set the community platform for actual engagement through organizing events attended by their peers.
TAMKEEN will target a total of 3,000 female school-aged youth (SAY) ages 15 to 23 through a network of 50 local Community Development Associations (CDAs).
TAMKEEN will focus its activities and implementation in three governorates: Minia, Assiut and Sohag. According to UNDP 2008 Human Development Report, Egypt’s poverty map confirmed that poverty remains highly concentrated in rural Upper Egypt with 762 of the poorest 1,000 villages located in Minia, Assiut and Sohag. There is low civic awareness and participation in these areas and some of the villages are so distant and far apart which makes it difficult to reach out to them with projects. Female youth are particularly disadvantaged. In addition, small Community Development Associations (CDAs) in these villages are capable of playing a pivotal role in promoting civic awareness and TAMKEEN will reach out to empower these Community Development Associations (CDAs) who might have not received significant support previously.
for more please visit http://tamkeen-eg.org