New statistics reflect ongoing struggle of women and girls in Egypt: CAPMAS figure

Women and girls in Egypt are subject to widespread abuse and discrimination, despite overall improvements in their rights and conditions, according to Amal Fouad Mohamed, a senior figure in the government's statistics body, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Mohamed made the comments in a speech on Thursday for International Day of the Girl, during a celebration organized by Plan International Egypt.

As chairman of the Central Department for Population and Social Studies and Research, Mohamed announced the release of a new batch of data on the situation of women and girls in Egypt. The statistics reflect the prominent issues affecting females in Egypt, covering the years 2008 to 2015.

She said that, despite the recent improvements in the rights of girls and women, there are still thousands suffering from discrimination and abuse simply because they are young and female.

The statistics show an increase in the rates of illiteracy among females by 14.7 percent, compared to 17.3 percent among males, Mohamed said.

The drop-out rates from preparatory education among females stood at 4.6 percent, compared to 4.4 percent among males, she added.

The ratio of women in parliament did not exceed 20 percent in 2010. It then rose to 13 percent in 2012, as a result of the quota system. In 2015, female MPs made up 14.9 percent of MPs.

The participation of women in the economy stood at 22.5 percent in 2015, compared to 72.4 percent among males. The unemployment rate among females was at 24 percent in 2015, compared to 12.8 percent among males.

Marriage below 20 years of age stands at 26 percent among females. The past few years have shown a gradual increase in the number of women marrying young: 20.9 percent in 2009; 22.2 percent in 2010; 23 percent in 2011; 23.7 percent in 2012; 24.2 percent in 2013; and 26 percent in 2014.

The phenomenon of female genital mutilation is still prominent, she said, with 92.3 percent of females in the 15-49 age bracket having been circumcised.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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