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MoICMin, NCW president and private sector reps discuss Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator progress

Part of Egypt’s commitment to empower women and bridge gender gaps, it aims to address current gender gaps and reshape gender parity for an inclusive future

By: Business Today Egypt

Thu, Sep. 30, 2021

Discussing the latest developments regarding the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator, Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, held a meeting with of Dr. Maya Morsy, the President of the National Council for Women (NCW) and several leading businesswomen.

Egypt is the first country in Africa, Middle East and North Africa to launch this public - private collaboration model supported by the World Economic Forum. The accelerator was launched on this year’s International Women’s Day in February.

Part of Egypt’s commitment to empower women and bridge gender gaps through coordinated efforts and cooperation with local and international stakeholders, the accelerator aims to address current gender gaps and reshape gender parity for an inclusive future.

The accelerator model is expected to drive structural reforms, highlighting the need for collaborative action across different levels to develop institutional structures and policies as well as promote the gradual change in norms, and social behavior in support of gender parity.

Minister Al Mashat highlighted the importance of the accelerator in economically empowering women through four main aspects.

Related > Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator Action Plan Q&A: MOIC

She explained that these points were the preparation of women for the post COVID-19 world of work, to close gender gaps in remuneration between and within sectors, to enable women’s participation in the labor force, and to advance more women into management and leadership positions.

Morsy expressed her gratitude towards the accelerator’s progress, explaining that there are six main areas for progress; institutional transformation, services, policies, capacity building, awareness, and knowledge.

Al Mashat added that private sector companies will have an active role in implementing this plan, as four major companies have a key role in the accelerator’s objectives. She added that the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” also aims to include 100 companies for implementation, noting the formation of working groups per each goal to coordinate efforts and achieve the desired results.

Also attending the meeting were Seylot Haselar, Director of the Catalyst Program at the World Economic Forum; Neveen El Tahri, Chairperson at Delta Shield for Investment; Hisham El-Khazindar, Co-Founder and  Managing Director at Qalaa Holdings; Dalia Abdel Kader, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Commercial International Bank (CIB) in Egypt; and Laila Helaly, the Director of Marketing and PR at Travco.

The minister also referred to the close cooperation between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the NCW, alongside the development partners, represented by the WEF in this project, as well as the private sector companies, in achieving specific goals for the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”. This is in line with advancing the economic empowerment of women, and the country’s efforts to achieve comprehensive, sustainable economic recovery and growth.

The Minister explained that the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” is one of the projects supervised by the Ministry to support the empowerment of women, in accordance with SDG 5: Gender Equality, explaining that progressing towards a well-rounded sustainable development requires joint action across all relevant entities and stakeholders, including government entities, private sector, and development partners.

Related > Maya Morsy on Women’s empowerment amidst the pandemic

Several decisions have been issued, including the efforts of the Financial Regulatory Authority in adopting commitment to prevent harassment at work, alongside efforts from the Ministry of Transportation in implementing a code of conduct for its employees.

This is in addition to the Ministry of Manpower’s decision to lift social restrictions imposed on women either working at night or venturing into male-dominated industries, while ensuring their safety. Moreover, three policy papers were initiated regarding unpaid care and its impact on the economic empowerment of women.

Morsy also referred to the cooperation with the World Bank in launching the Egyptian Gender Equality Seal, alongside the private sector, and the digital saving and lending project within financial inclusion programs that are organized by the NCW in partnership with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).