Egypt’s GDP could jump 32% by achieving gender equality: IFC



Thu, 08 Mar 2018 - 01:13 GMT


Thu, 08 Mar 2018 - 01:13 GMT

During the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event, IFC-press photo.

During the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event, IFC-press photo.

CAIRO – 8 March 2018: Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) could soar 32 percent if gender equality achieved in the labor market, World Bank’s (WB) arm for private sector financing, the International Financial Corporation (IFC) said Thursday citing a WB study.

This announcement was part of a panel discussion following the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event organized Thursday in partnership with the UN Women Egypt Country Office and the Egypt Exchange (EGX) to in celebration of the International Women's Day.

After the bill ringing ceremony, attendees and speakers discussed the importance of advancing gender equality and increasing women’s participation in the economy.

“Diversity is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do…We welcome and encourage the unified voice that stock exchanges add to advocating for equal gender representation on companies’ boards and senior management as a smart business strategy,” Walid Labadi, IFC Country manager in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said.

Egyptian women are still paid less than men for equal work; the gender wage gap currently stands at 22 percent, the study showed.

According to a 2017 report from the World Economic Forum, closing the global gender gap could quickly yield strong results, with the potential to increase the global GDP by $5.3 trillion over the next seven years.

The event represents an opportunity for business leaders, investors, government officials, civil society members, and other key partners to discuss business case for gender equality, in addition to highlighting steps taken by some companies to empower women in the workplace.

“As business leaders, entrepreneurs, employees and consumers, women are fundamental to inclusive growth—creating business models that boost job growth, build capital markets and raise per-capita incomes while promoting sustainable development,” IFC Vice President and Treasurer, Jingdong Hua said.

According to a recent IFC study, companies with female directors performed significantly better than those without, with a return on assets three times higher and return on equity twice as high. In Egypt, only 7 percent of firms are led by a female top executive.

Celebrating the International Women’s Day 2018, over 60 stock exchanges worldwide rang the bell for gender equality Thursday for the fourth straight year, in an effort to highlight how the private sector can increase women’s participation in the global economy and promote sustainable development.

“The EGX is highly supporting gender equality issue asserting that women empowerment is one of the important elements for economic growth,” EGX chairman Mohamed Farid said.

In July 2017, the EGX signed a memorandum of understanding with the Business School of the American University to promote for women’s participation in listed companies’ Boards, Farid added.

“This cooperation will help increase number of qualified women ready to join corporate boards. Farid finally highlighted that about 47 percent of EGX listed companies has at least one lady their Board of Directors,” he concluded.

During the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event/ Egypt Today- Yasmine Samra

During the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event/ Egypt Today- Yasmine Samra

During the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event/ Egypt Today- Yasmine Samra



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