women participating in public life

Empowering Egypt’s women

One thing the 2011 revolution showed us is that Egyptian women want to be heard. Egyptian women are strong, opinionated and eager to be involved in shaping their country.

Egypt is going through many changes, offering more chances for women to stand up and be counted and for progress to be made towards citizenship equality.


Women can be heard, but they should also be listened to. With this project, we aim to increase women’s representation in public life at all levels, because we feel that this is the key to positive social change. 

We use funding from the Arab Partnership Initiative to support women’s participation in the community. The project is also operating in three other countries: Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

"The programme gave me the confidence to express myself and become more active in society." - Mai Fouda, community leadership programme participant


  • We give young women the power to influence and make a difference in their local communities through our British Council community leadership programme, Active Citizens. This project builds confidence, values difference and supports social action. By 2015, our community leadership programme will involve 18 communities, having trained more than 50 facilitators and more than 2500 young people.  
  • We help existing and emerging coalitions of women’s organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), authorities and media to support women’s public participation. This is done through capacity-building workshops and exchange visits with leading UK women’s organisations.
  • We provide training opportunities in action research to support partners in advocating women participation through evidence-based data. Throughout the trainings we cover other topics as advocacy, awareness raising, stakeholder analysis, and use of media. 
  • We provide platforms for experience-sharing and learning. We run regional events including study visits, conferences and workshops to support work and share the learning.

"By learning to trust in myself I was able to set out my goals and work out how   to achieve them. With this faith in my abilities I feel I can challenge myself to do anything I want to." - Rania Mohammed, community leadership programme participant


At home, the project can be broken down into four areas:

  • Creating young community leaders, giving them more confidence and encouraging them to participate in community issues.
  • Helping our national partners to progress women’s participation in public life through technical support and training. 
  • Establishing regional networks to provide support and organise learning events at which strategies and success stories can be shared. 
  • Publishing evidence-based data on how women’s active participation has a positive impact within local communities.  


  • We have reached more than 850 community leaders in 12 governorates and 60 facilitators of which more than 200 are involved in community initiatives that aims to support and empower their communities.
  • We have exchanged experience between representatives of local partners and women coalitions with their peers at the UK.
  • We have launched the action research activities in collaboration with representatives from more than six local NGOs and women coalitions who are currently in the first phase of gathering evidence based data for their research.
  • We sponsored debates to discuss how to improve women’s rights and lives, and how to promote their participation in public and social life. Some of the Egyptian participants have since been chosen to join the National Council for Women.
  • We created partnerships with NGOs that empowers women in marginalized communities.
  • We piloted the Springboard self-development programme, which aims to encourage women’s personal development and connect them to a worldwide network of mentors and peers.


Find out how we’re empowering locals through Active Citizens.