Egypt's planning minister reveals percentage of women in bank boards



Mon, 08 Mar 2021 - 12:41 GMT


Mon, 08 Mar 2021 - 12:41 GMT

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala al-Said in celebration of International Women Day - Press Photo

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala al-Said in celebration of International Women Day - Press Photo

CAIRO - 8 March 2021: Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El Said stated Sunday that t the percentage of women’s representation on bank boards reached 12% in 2019 compared to about 10% in 2018.


That was during her participation via video conferencing in the celebration of International Women's Day "Choosing a Challenge", which is held under the auspices of PepsiCo Egypt, in the presence of Mohamed Shelbaya, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Egypt.


The minister added that the percentage of women who owned bank accounts reached 27% according to the latest government studies after it was only 14% in 2014.


“Egyptian women also received 51% of the total loans directed to micro-businesses, and the percentage of women who defaulted on loan payments did not exceed 1%,” El-Said noted.


El-Said explained that the national strategy for the empowerment of women 2030 aims to address the factors affecting the economic empowerment of women, as it identified several key quantitative indicators to measure the extent of progress achieved in the field of economic empowerment of women.


“The state has worked in recent years to implement it through several mechanisms represented in preparing the legislative and institutional environment as well as appropriate cultural empowerment of women economically,” She explained.


El-Said continued that the state is keen to integrate the concepts of gender equality and women's empowerment into educational curricula at different stages to spread culture and rational thought for empowering women.


Moreover, the state is also keen to pay attention to training and capacity building, especially directed to women, as they plan to build the Egyptian human being included the rehabilitation of all government cadres, both male and female through packages of training programs, most notably the Program for Qualifying Executive Women Leaders, which is implemented by the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development in cooperation (NIGSD) with the National Council for Women, the Administrative Oversight Authority, and UN Women, with a total number of 300 female graduates of Egyptian women leaders.


The first batch of the program graduated in July 2019 at the level of Cairo governorate, the second batch graduated last February at the level of some governorates (5 governorates), which enhances the state’s efforts and orientation for local localization of the sustainable development goals in the Egyptian governorates and regions.


El-Said added that within the framework of Egypt's interest in strengthening cooperation with various countries of the world, especially African countries in the field of developing and building women's capacities, a version of this program were launched for African women leaders last January, and cooperation continued in 2020 with the establishment of an association for female graduates of the African Women Leaders Program.


On the interest in women's economic empowerment through the small and medium enterprises sector, El-Said indicated that it is one of the main sectors that accommodate decent and productive work opportunities for women in various Egyptian regions and governorates.


El-Said explained that the achievements of the Ministry's “Rowad 2030” project in the field of women's empowerment included the increase in the participation rate of women in the Master of Entrepreneurship, which was implemented in cooperation with the Universities of Cambridge and Cairo, amounted to 37% of the total participants, the percentage of women’s participation in the Small and Medium Enterprises Management Grant was 50%, and the percentage of female trainers in the Start Your Future campaign in schools and universities reached 40% Of the total number of trainers in the provinces.


About the Corona pandemic, El-Said asserted that the government has taken about 21 measures to support women, especially in the field of economic protection for women, unpaid care, and combating violence against women, which enabled Egypt - according to the report of UN Women and the United Nations Development Program - to reach to the first place in the Middle East and West Asia region in supporting women in facing Corona.


El-Said drew attention to activate the equal opportunity unit in the ministry to prepare databases on the Ministry’s employees and its affiliated agencies, classify them by gender and analyze them, in addition to documenting data, information, studies, and research that reflect the reality of working women in the ministry.


At the end of her speech, El-Said emphasized that despite the many models that women can follow today, it is difficult to define the features and qualities of that example, as the models that women can follow in all parts of the world are diverse and unique.


“Today some of my students, friends, and colleagues see me as a role model for the new generation, and this is a compliment that I can only accept with satisfaction, happiness, and pride,” El-Said added.


El-Said asserted that when women have the will and the appropriate tools, they can change an entire generation and make glory for themselves and those around them.


 During her speech, El-Said reviewed her career since her work as an assistant professor in economics and her work as the executive director of the Banking Institute, then as the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science until he assumed the position of minister of planning.


El-Said noted that during her tenure as the Executive Director of the Egyptian Banking Institute, which is the training arm of the Central Bank of Egypt aimed at transforming it into a center of knowledge and expertise for the banking and financial sector, and a rich source of human capital.


El-Said added that she was in charge of preparing the cadres of the administrative team at the banking institute, upgrading their professional capabilities, raising the level of awareness, and setting the necessary policies, as the institute obtained international accreditation, and its annual budget increased from LE4-60 million.


The number of its trainees also increased from 1,000 to 50,000 trainees annually, and it became the first center in the Middle East to achieve international standards, and it remained as such for five years, indicating that it was subsequently chosen among the 50 most influential women in the region.


El-Said indicated that she later became dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, pointing out to her keenness on advocating for women's issues, the link between academic and professional life and community service in general, and her interest in instilling the values ​​of seriousness and discipline in her students.


“These values ​​are of great importance in their intellectual development, as well as the benefit from the experiences they gain on the ground,” she explained. El-Said pointed out that she won the "Ideal Mother" award for the year 2015 from the Al Maktoum Foundation.


El-Said continued that early in 2017, she was chosen as the Minister of Planning, Follow-up, and Administrative Reform, and in December 2019, the political leadership renewed confidence in her to assume charge of the portfolio of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, to complete the efforts it had started in implementing the programs and objectives of the comprehensive and sustainable economic development process for the Egyptian state.


El-Said pointed out that after that, she won the Best Arab Minister Award from the Arab Government Excellence Award.


El-Said noted that this award is a tribute to the Egyptian state with all its institutions, as it is the product of the collective work and effort of the Egyptian government.


“The Award is a tribute to Egyptian women and a culmination of the tangible role they play in the Egyptian development experience, it is an embodiment of what they enjoy from great confidence and unprecedented support from the political leadership in carrying out this role,” El-Said added.


On the plan to enhance women's participation in the Egyptian labor market; El-Said explained that the issues of developing the role of women and efforts to empower them at all levels; should start from the grassroots level, and cover all aspects of life, including education, training, and employment.


El-Said indicated that the talk about women's economic empowerment is no longer just a conversation with a social dimension or only aimed at achieving gender equality.


“Women have become active partners with men, both at the executive level and at the economic level and participation in the labor market, or in the presence and occupying leadership positions in the state’s administrative apparatus," she stressed.


El-Said also pointed out that the issue of women's economic empowerment is pivotal in Egypt's Vision 2030, and in the developmental direction of the state.


“In all its pillars, Egypt's Vision 2030 is based on gender considerations, as women are the main partners in preparing, formulating, and implementing this vision,” El-Said said.



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