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Egypt participates in ILO's panel discussion on 'rural women at work'

Thu, Mar. 8, 2018
CAIRO - 8 March 2018: The International Labor Organization (ILO) is due to hold an interactive panel discussion on rural women under the theme “Rural Women at Work..Bridging the Gaps”, to mark the International Women's Day (IWD) with ILO Director-General Guy Ryder along with representatives for governments, labor organizations and business owners attending.

Director of the ILO Cairo Office Peter Van Rooij expressed appreciation that Tarek Tawfik, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries will represent the employers' organizations in the panel discussion, a move that reflects the constant partnership between the Egyptian federation and the ILO.

The ILO attaches special importance to the rural women and circumstances of their work. It estimates that rural women comprise one-quarter of the world’s population and also make up 41 percent of the world’s agricultural labor force, a ratio that rises to 49 percent for low-income countries.

The organization says that despite their crucial roles in the rural economy, women face inequalities and challenges that hinder their access to decent work opportunities and improvements to their productivity.

Women tend to be involved in more than one economic activity simultaneously, and take up informal and unprotected work in the absence of alternative means of generating income, ILO also says.

Rural women workers are less likely to engage in wage employment compared to men and to women in urban areas, and when they do, they tend to earn less than their male counterparts, it says.

It warns that women agricultural workers are particularly vulnerable to sexual or other violence and harassment.

The ILO strives to ensure gender equality and prevent the perpetuation of cycles of gender discrimination, where poor and uneducated women remain in lower paid, less skilled and more insecure work.
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