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Gender and Migration in Egypt: Searching for the Independent Migrant Woman’s Voice

March 22, 2023

This policy brief draws attention to the limited representation of independent Egyptian migrant women and discusses the likely factors behind the absence of women's voices in the field. It also highlights the positive impacts that can stem from Egyptian women's migration, including higher remittance flows and the empowerment of women in Egyptian society. Finally, the brief concludes with a number of recommendations for both researchers and Egyptian policymakers.

Sudanese Women on the Move in Cairo Defy Stereotypes

March 21, 2023

Against the perception of people on the move as helpless and passive, this brief draws on the stories of 12 Sudanese females residing in Ard El-Lewa, a densely populated informal urban area in Cairo with a substantial presence of Sudanese. This ethnographic fieldwork was conducted between January and June 2021. Admittedly, these stories do not represent whole communities of people on the move. But they are a glimpse into the lives of the Sudanese women I collaborated with, interviewed, and observed through fieldwork. More importantly, these stories showcase how people on the move are not mute victims. This brief demonstrates that the stories and voices of people on the move should be noticed and reflected, and that people on the move should have a leading say regarding the contexts and conditions that affect them, as well as how they are represented.

Marriage as a Durable Solution? How Syrian Refugee Women Use Marriage for Self-resettlement

March 16, 2023

It is estimated that Egypt has hosted about 500,000 Syrian refugees since 2011. However, most of these refugees are not included in official UNHCR statistics, which only count 119,665 registered Syrian refugees. Limited awareness of registration opportunities, concerns over potential social stigmatization, and fear of being recorded in government databases are among the reasons why there is a discrepancy in the numbers of Syrians in Egypt. Syrians who came to Egypt arrived in an economically troubled country and a politically polarized atmosphere, where they faced a lack of opportunities and a high cost of living.This brief is based on fieldwork conducted in Egypt during the summer of 2017 investigating Syrian refugee women's strategies of self-resettlement, mainly through such marriages, a practice I call "marriage for refuge." In contrast to existing narratives that view this type of marriage as exploitative, I demonstrate how the concept of "marriage for refuge" offers a better lens through which to analyze the relationship between forced migration and marriage.

“This Is Why We Became Activists”: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

February 14, 2023

According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.

انفلونزا الطيور والدعم الغذائي معالجة قضايا الدواجن الصناعية في مصر Avian flu and food subsidies Egypt poultry industry

January 30, 2023

ارتفع إنتاج واستهلاك الدواجن الصناعية بشكل كبير في مصر حيث نما نظام الأغذية الزراعية للشركات في البلاد منذ ثمانينيات القرن المنصرم. يتناول هذا التقرير قضيتين رئيسيتين تتعلقان بصناعة الدواجن.القضية الاولى: فيروس إنفلونزا الطيور المتوطن والذي يتكرر في البلاد مع كل موسم إنفلونزا ويقتل الملايين والملايين من الطيور وبعض البشر أيضا. وقد كانت أحد تدابير الاحتواء الرئيسية التي اتخذتها السلطات هو عمليات الإعدام الجماعي للدجاج "المنزلي" الذي يشيع الافتراض أنه ينشر الفيروس. لكن هذه الافتراض خاطئ لان الفيروس قد انتقل بالفعل من المنشآت الصناعية إلى المنازل. القضية الثانية: الدعم الحكومي للغذاء. استفادت صناعة الدواجن ومنتجو ومستوردو اللحوم الحمراء من نظام دعم الأغذية (غير الخبز).للتعامل مع هذه القضايا: 1. يجب اتخاذ إجراءات لإضعاف صناعة الدواجن الصناعية وقدرتها على نقل الطيور المصابة (والفيروس) إلى مشغلي الدواجن الآخرين من خلال سلسلة القيمة الخاصة بها. كما يجب فرض قيود حكومية على بيع الطيور من مرافق التربية الكبرى. 2. عدم إنهاء دعم المواد الغذائية (على الرغم من الدعوات للقيام بذلك). ولكن بدلا من ذلك، يجب استبدل الدعم المقدم لقطاع صناعة الدواجن بدعم المنتج والمستهلك للفول - وهو غذاء نباتي أصيل غني بالبروتين. وهذا من شأنه تنويع مصادر البروتين في الوجبات الغذائية المصرية.

Eek! What the chick: Addressing the issues of industrial poultry in Egypt

January 6, 2023

With the rise of a corporate agri-food system in Egypt since the 1980s, the country's industrial poultry production has increased dramatically. This report focuses on two main concerns with Egypt's corporate poultry industry.First issue: Endemic avian flu virus. It recurs in the country every flu season, killing millions upon millions of birds and some humans too. One of the authorities' key containment measures had been mass cullings of "household"/"cottage" chickens which were assumed to have spread the virus. But the assumption is false. The virus had actually moved from industrial facilities to households. Industrial firms not only were saved, they further consolidated as smaller farms were decimated by the mass cullings.Second issue: Government food subsidies. The poultry industry and red meat producers/importers have benefited from the food (non-bread) subsidy system. And a growing percentage of imported grains and other foods are used to feed animals and for food processing (i.e. industrial uses) rather than for direct human consumption only.To deal with these issues: 1. Take action to weaken the corporate poultry industry and its ability to pass on infected birds (and the virus) to other poultry operators through its value chain. Advocate for government restrictions on sale of birds from large-scale breeding facilities. 2. Do not end food subsidies (in spite of calls to do so). But instead replace the subsidy on poultry with a producer and consumer subsidy on fava beans - an indigenous, protein-rich plant food. This would diversify protein sources in Egyptian diets.

Morocco, Algeria, Egypt: Assessing EU plans to import hydrogen from North Africa

May 15, 2022

A new study commission by CEO and the Transnational Institute shows the EU's plan to drastically increase imports of renewable hydrogen from North Africa is not realistic from a cost or energy perspective, and instead diverts renewable electricity away from local needs and local climate targets.The study was written by energy expert Michael Barnard and sees production costs making renewable hydrogen potentially up to 11 times more expensive than using natural gas, and that's before storage and transport costs are factored in.The EU's unrealistic import targets are allowing Big Oil and Gas to sneak hydrogen from natural gas through the back door, using green hydrogen as a trojan horse to keep drilling and selling their main product.

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

The Unfreedom Monitor: A Methodology for Tracking Digital Authoritarianism Around the World

April 1, 2022

Digital communications technologies have been a powerful tool in the advancement of democratic governance, but in recent years there is concern that they are being used to undermine democracy as well. The Unfreedom Monitor, part of Global Voices' Advox project, aims to study and report on this growing phenomenon. This briefing document provides an overview of key developments in digital authoritarianism in a sample of 10 countries, while explaining the theoretical framework and methodology behind the project. The document also provides a basis for expanding this research to other countries so we can deepen our understanding of digital authoritarianism globally as well as its crucial implications for the future.

Untapped Opportunities for Climate Action: An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

March 22, 2022

A summary report providing a synthesis of the 14 country assessments with recommendations and priority actions.

Confronting the Climate Crisis with Food Systems Transformation: Stories of Action from 14 countries

March 22, 2022

Integrating food systems transformation into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the national climate actions at the heart of the Paris Agreement, is critical to delivering on interconnected ecological, biodiversity, health, economic, social, and cultural goals. Taking a food systems approach builds climate resilience and results in a diversity of context-specific solutions for food production, distribution, consumption, and waste. Yet, food systems are rarely prioritized in climate policy. This catalogue of global Case Studies complements a suite of publications that are designed to centre food systems transformation in future climate debate and policy.

How have corporate industrial food systems been entrenched into the Arab region?

November 23, 2021

* This report examines the rapid growth of agribusinesses and corporate food systems in the Arab region since the 1980s, especially the underlying political and economic factors. Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon are used as case studies.* The following characteristics are highlighted and explained: 1) The critical function of capital and investment funds that come from three main sources - Gulf region; Western multinationals; local companies. 2) Agribusinesses in the region must be understood as a system, relying on personal relationships and informal ties among the region's elites, organized as joint ventures and partnerships, with large companies monopolizing market shares, and exerting considerable power over consumers and smaller suppliers/producers. 3) The centrality of political connections and government support in the agribusinesses' smooth operation.* Companies discussed include: Savola, Al Marai, Danone, Nestle, Juhayna.* Understanding the roots and key features of these corporate industrial food systems is very important because of implications for policy discussions and for actions to address concerns. For example: How does government support for free market rather than smallholder farmers affect food sovereignty? How best to address avian flu outbreaks in Egypt that usually leave large intensive poultry agribusinesses in stronger positions? Instead of focusing activist actions on Gulf and local companies which are less likely to be swayed by publicity, it is more effective to lobby multinational companies headquartered in Europe and the U.S. that have entered markets in the Arab region.