In 2001, the Population Council and partners designed and implement an intervention program to address the needs of out-of-school adolescent girls in rural Upper Egypt. As noted in Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief No. 12, the pilot, referred to as Ishraq (“Sunrise”), was launched in four rural villages of el-Minya governorate in Upper Egypt, the country’s least developed and most disadvantaged region. Targeting girls aged 13–15, this program was designed to promote literacy, impart life skills, build social networks, and foster leadership and self-confidence through sports. By establishing girl-friendly spaces in which participants could meet, learn, play, and work collectively, the program sought to safely and confidently bring girls into the public space. At the same time, related interventions aimed at girls’ gatekeepers—parents, boys, and community leaders—were designed to initiate change in community norms and beliefs about the capacities and roles of girls in society. The program currently targets girls 13–15 years of age, but younger girls benefit from the program as well.
Zibani, Nadia and Martha Brady. 2011. "Scaling up asset-building programs for marginalized adolescent girls in socially conservative settings: The Ishraq program in rural Upper Egypt," Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief no. 12. New York: Population Council.
Ishraq: Bringing Marginalized Rural Girls into Safe Learning Spaces in Rural Upper Egypt