Lecture: Creating Opportunities for Coptic Women in Rural Egypt

Nermien Riad, executive director, Coptic Orphans

Egypt’s widows are often severely restricted by cultural traditions. In many cases, they cannot leave their homes to work—even if their children are hungry. To improve the status of widowed mothers, Coptic Orphans developed B’edaya, a microfinance initiative tailored to help widowed mothers claim financial independence for themselves and their families, especially in the poorest, most remote villages. B’edaya provides widowed mothers with microloans and entrepreneurship training, all of which enables them to achieve long-term success in even the most challenging market conditions. Work in textiles has been  particularly successful, as most Egyptian women in rural villages are taught to sew and weave in their youth. To date, 78 different business have been funded, including small to medium enterprises, and 99% of loans have been repaid in full.

This program is a collaboration with GW's Elliott School of International Affairs. Free, but reservations are required. Register online or call 202-994-7394.