The programme involves public and private sector heavyweights, all throwing their muscle into the mix to integrate Egyptian women into the labour force through a platform that is unprecedented in MENA and Africa.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum have launched a nationwide public-private collaboration model that allows for government and businesses to make strides in closing the economic gender gap. Entitled ‘Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator’, the initiative bolsters and enables public figures and private sector leaders to pave the way for the promotion and execution of gender equality, diversity, inclusion and economic mobility.
The Model is the first of its kind to be launched in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa, and bands not only influential government bodies, but also harnesses the strategic savvy and vast network of the World Economic Forum. The accelerator programme will be focused on four main overarching objectives: equipping women for a post-COVID job market, closing the gender wage and pay gap between and within sectors, paving the way for more women to actively take part of the country’s labour force and strengthening the bid for more women to advance into managerial and leadership roles.
“Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator will be the hub for all the initiatives that fall under the Women’s Economic Empowerment Pillar of the Egyptian National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030,” said Dr Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women, noting that it will provide the economic opportunities to enable women to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Bank, women accounted for 23.61% of the active labour force in Egypt in 2019. The Model aims to integrate and empower women to become active participants in the job market, which in turn would fortify the overall Egyptian economy. “The Gender Accelerator will bring together multi-stakeholder actors across the public and private sectors to generate local insight, develop local needs-based action plans and drive their execution,” said H.E Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation. “Leveraging on the World Economic Forum’s global platform, the accelerator will indeed help expedite the implementation of SDG5 [Sustainable Development Goals] across sectors in Egypt and serve as a multi-stakeholder platform”.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), equalising female labour force participation could increase GDP by up to 34%. For said increase to take effect, there must however be unilateral cohesion between private and public sector on all fronts to adopt and implement initiatives that invigorate women’s careers. Among the 100+ private sector leaders working directly with the Gender Gap Accelerator are Commercial International Bank (CIB), Qala’a Holdings, Travco Group International, and Delta Investment Holdings along with several civil organisations championing policy change to create a multi-faceted holistic platform that would have all hands on deck.
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