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Providing new opportunities to adolescent girls in socially conservative settings: The Ishraq program in rural Upper Egypt - Full report

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Providing new opportunities to adolescent girls in socially conservative settings: The Ishraq program in rural Upper Egypt - Full report

Publication type

Research and Project Evaluations

Publisher

Population Council

Year

2008

Population Council

This report tells the story of Ishraq - a programme designed to give girls in rural Egypt a second chance. These girls remain socially isolated within their families, burdened with heavy domestic chores, and at risk for early marriage to a husband chosen by others.

The pilot intervention, known locally as Ishraq (“enlightenment”), was launched in 2001 in four rural villages of Al Minya governorate in Upper Egypt, one of Egypt’s poorest regions. Ishraq sought to transform girls’ lives by changing gender norms and community perceptions about girls’ roles in society while bringing them safely and confidently into the public sphere.

Moreover, Ishraq sought to establish girl-friendly spaces in the communities for girls to meet, learn, and play. Through a combination of literacy classes, a life skills program, and sports, Ishraq provided girls with new and valued skills and changed the way girls see themselves.

This report presents the programmes as well as the changes it has brought about. The pilot phase of Ishraq has shown that a welldesigned, integrated programme can have a significant positive impact in improving the life chances of poor rural girls.

[Abstract adapted from the author]

About

Author

Martha Brady, Ragui Assaad, Barbara Ibrahim, Abeer Salem, Rania Salem, Nadia Zibani

Published

Sunday, June 22, 2008 - 23:00