In November 2019, the DAAD Regional Offices in Cairo and Nairobi invited scholars from along the Nile to meet for another “Cairobi Talks” conference.

This conference has been the third Cairobi Talk after similar events in November 2016 and January 2018. The series has the aim to bridge the gap between “North Africa” and “Sub-Saharan Africa” and to encourage collaborations across the divide. During the two days of the conference in Cairo, DAAD Alumni from Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Egypt and Somalia realised again that these countries do not only share the most famous river on the continent but that they also face common questions and challenges. After “Resource Management” in 2016 and “Languages” in 2018, the topic of the conference in Egypt was “Women in Leading Positions”.

The conference was kicked off by Prof. Tarek Tawfik who delivered a keynote presentation on “Queens, Goddesses and Influential Women in Ancient Egypt”. Prof. Tawfik explained the importance of women as equal partners to their husbands in ancient Egypt and demonstrated through illustrations that the gender system used to be more balanced back then. A visit to the Egyptian Museum in the evening complemented the presentation and gave the delegates a chance to look at artefacts from ancient times with their own eyes.

The conference theme “Women in Leading Positions – Multidisciplinary Perspectives from along the Nile” inspired illuminating presentations from the scholars. Their experiences and research projects provided the basis for interesting discussions around issues of gender equality and discrimination. The statistics that were introduced from the different regions, as well as the participants' own experience  showed clearly that it is still a long way until men and women are treated fairly.