In Egypt, especially in rural and marginalized urban areas, females suffer from marginalization and they face many forms of social oppression on a daily basis . These burdens increase when a girl gets married at a very young age , and becomes pregnant then gets divorced even before giving birth to her first child. She returns to the house of her family after claiming that her early marriage will save them some financial burden. Moreover, she “will face higher challenges of living as young woman in a community that has an exclusionary perception of the divorced especially after putting a new burden on her family with her newborn.”
“I believe that economic empowerment of females is the key to change the society’s perception of them” – Naima Sayed, 19 years old, Minia .
Naima Sayed from Samalout in Minya , who is younger than twenty and got married at the age of 15 then pregnant and divorced, faces tough social and economic challenges at a young age after returning to live at her family’s house”. Naima lived in a low standard of living with her family. She could have succumbed to her problems and live and her newborn on the support coming from some sympathizers. However, she decided not to accept humiliation and began to search for a source of income that enables her to live and her child with dignity.
She wanted to start a small project that is located close to her father’s house so she can also take care of her child. She came up with an idea for a project that she can sell oil sprays for irrigation motors. “Then, I resorted to CEOSS to apply for a loan to start a new project”, Naima says. With her determination and the sympathy of her neighbors and their desire to help , the project started to grow gradually. By the repayment of the first loan Naima decided to take the second to develop her project by adding some spare parts of irrigation motors and cars which are used in agricultural activities. Her project location in front of her father’s house became smaller so she decided to open a small shop next to the house to accommodate the project. A notable growth in her business was achieved and she managed to get new electronic devices and appliances to her house. “My business has grown bigger, and I started to taste success. Now I live with my child and my family in a better standard and I believe I present a model to girls in my community.”