IFC urges greater inclusion of women in Egypt’s economy



Sat, 08 Apr 2017 - 11:55 GMT


Sat, 08 Apr 2017 - 11:55 GMT

World Bank headquarters, Washington D.C. - Photo courtesy of the WB official website

World Bank headquarters, Washington D.C. - Photo courtesy of the WB official website

CAIRO – 7 April 2017: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) held a roundtable last week to discuss gender equality in Egypt as well as the obstacles facing women and preventing them from participating in the economy, the IFC said in a press release.

The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is considered the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

The event, dubbed “Egypt’s Businesses: Building Value and Accelerating Growth through Gender Inclusion,” was attended by leading players from across the private sector, including representatives from Vodafone Egypt, Coca-Cola, IBM and Sekem.

The meeting urged companies to play a major role in generating employment, leadership, and business opportunities for women. It also tackled challenges faced by women in Egypt and the means of unleashing their potential in economics.

“Women’s inclusion in the private sector is a strategic priority for IFC in Egypt,” said Nada Shousha, IFC Senior Advisor in Egypt. “Investing in women is not only essential for economic growth, but it’s also good for Egypt’s economy. Companies that attract and retain female employees have a wider and better talent pool. At the same time, banks that lend to women-owned SMEs could tap into a currently unserved credit market worth $283 million.”

According to the IFC statistics, only 12 percent of permanent full-time workers in Egypt are women, while they represent 30 percent of business owners.

It also noted that only 7 percent of Egypt’s firms are led by a female executive, and those earn about 22 percent less than their male peers.

On that score, the IFC said it is investing in banks for on-lending to women-owned SMEs through its Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility.

In addition, IFC investee companies in the Middle East and North Africa have generated more than 120,000 jobs for women over the past decade, it said.



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