Rabeha Programme Empowers Egyptian Women on their Journey to Employment

UNIDO – UN Women Joint Programme ‘Rabeha’ provides employability skills training for target sectors to help unlock the full potential of 1,000 women from Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef and Minya.

Fayoum, 14 May 2023 


Despite important progress and investments by Government and private sector,  women in Egypt face challenges in accessing formal employment. As a result, only 21 percent of Egypt’s working-age women are participating in the economy, compared to around 75% of men (Krafft and others, 2019). However, training provided by the UNIDO – UN Women Joint Programme ‘Rabeha’ is helping to improve gender equality by empowering women with the skills, tools and confidence to find employment. 

On 14 May, the Rabeha programme kicked-off a series of employability skills trainings for the dates, medicinal and aromatic plants, and handicraft sectors, that target 1,000 women from the governorates of Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef and Minya. During the trainings and one-to-one coaching sessions, women job seekers gain essential work skills – such as communications, personal branding, teamwork, time and stress management, problem-solving, email etiquette, conflict and negotiations, CV-writing and interviewing skills. In addition, participants work alongside career-development and job-placement specialists who support them in improving their profile and applying for professional jobs. 

Ms. Nancy Ibrahim, job seeker and Rabeha training participant in Fayoum

“Without a well-crafted CV, I’ve found that my skills often go unnoticed and I miss out on potential job opportunities. Through the Rabeha programme, I hope to build a professional profile that showcases my competencies and ultimately helps me secure a fulfilling job.” Ms. Nancy Ibrahim, job seeker and Rabeha training participant in Fayoum.

The Rabeha employability skills trainings for  the the dates, medicinal and aromatic plants, and handicraft sectors  are being organised by UNIDO in close collaboration with country partners, including the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), which has played a key role in engaging women in the community, especially from rural areas. The trainings are being facilitated by specialists from DCODE Economic and Financial Consulting, who engage with women participants, listen to their challenges and connect them with potential employers. 

Closing gender gaps benefits the whole country, not just women and girls. Egypt-specific findings show that that if the female labour participation rate matched that of males’, GDP would increase by 34%. 

 “Through the Rabeha program we are working together with our partners to address the root causes that limit women’s economic participation. This training focuses on developing women’s skills and creating pathways to employment, helping to ensure their equal participation in Egypt’s economic and social progress.“ – Mr. Ahmed Rezk, UNIDO Deputy Representative Egypt.

The employability skills training is designed to enable women to achieve their full potential and to promote the country’s socio-economic development. To further facilitate this, the Rabeha programme is also organising a match-making event in June that will bring together employers and job seekers to connect women participants with new career opportunities in growth-oriented sectors including date palm, medicinal and aromatic plants and handicrafts.  

Efforts like this on the ground demonstrate that the tide is turning for women’s participation in the labour market and gender equality in Egypt may come sooner than expected.  

The Rabeha programme aims to support the economic empowerment of more than 6,300 women in 7 governorates through increased access to employment and/or self-employment opportunities. The programme is implemented by UNIDO and UN Women in partnership with the National Council for Women (NCW), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), with the generous support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). 

For more information, please contact: 

Sherihan Habib, National Programme Coordinator, UNIDO