Association For The Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW)

Location: Cairo, Egypt
Combat sport: Martial Arts
Focus areas: gender equality, gender-based violence
Established: 1987
Joined the FFP Alumni: December 2012
Contact: Sarah Attia

Egypt is currently facing huge social and political challenges in the wake of the Arab Spring. While there was great hope that the revolution would bring greater equality, that hasn’t yet been realised. Specifically in terms of gender equality, there is also evidence that the increased levels of uncertainty and insecurity have actually led to increases in suppression and violence against women and girls.

ADEW works to empower women economically, socially and politically through a combination of grassroots social programmes and advocacy that promotes pro-gender equality approaches to development and government. ADEW projects primarily target marginalized female heads of household and include literacy and numeracy initiatives, legal assistance and health awareness. They also deliver a number of initiatives that specifically aim to reduce violence against women and girls.

In 2011 ADEW piloted a Karate programme designed to increase the confidence of girls and reduce instances of gender based violence. ADEW is now working with FFP to build on the success of that pilot. They will develop a more comprehensive programme structure that links the Karate activities to ADEW’s other empowerment activities so that as a girl’s confidence in increased they can be helped into other opportunities, and to scale-up the activities so that more girls can access and enjoy martial arts as way to build their resilience.

Karate is a martial art that is increasingly used around the world to combat gender based violence because it is often considered in conservative societies to be the only combat sport that is appropriate for girls’ participation. ADEW is one of three FFP Alumni organisations using this particular martial art for this most sensitive of youth violence issues.