Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity announced the opening of a new shelter for battered women in Giza, Egypt Independent reports. The facility, opened on Tuesday, will serve as a center to host and mentor women survivors of violence and abuse.
This comes as part of the 16 Days campaign to combat violence against women and girls, which takes place every year from the 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, until the 10th of December, Human Rights Day.
The Giza shelter is one of eight similar facilities across the country, namely in Cairo, Daqahlia, Minya, Qalyubia, Alexandria, Beni Suef and Fayoum.
In a statement during the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine Kabbage said that the shelters are one of the services provided by the ministry designed to improve familial ties and protect and rehabilitate women and girls victims of violence.
In addition to sheltering women at risk, including survivors of human or sex trafficking and women with disabilities, the centers also provide a number of other services, ranging from healthcare and psychotherapy, to legal assistance, according to Egypt Independent.
The shelters are also equipped with training facilities, where women can acquire new skills and trades. According to a press release by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the shelters are now centers of economic activity that allow women to showcase their handcrafted works at state-organized fairs.
In addition to working directly with women, Kabbage added that the bylaws regulating the operation of the shelters also include working closely with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Education, in order to rehabilitate and support children who come from abusive homes and those who witness the abuse of their mothers.
Kabbage also noted that 88.2 percent of the recipients of the Solidarity and Dignity fund, one of the ministry’s social security programs, are women, and that the ministry is gearing up to launch a campaign to raise awareness about early detection of disability and the protection of women and families.
Also in attendance at the inaugural ceremony were National Council for Women President Maya Morsi, UN Women Egypt Deputy Representative Gielan El-Messiri, and USAID Deputy Mission Director Rebecca Latorraca.