The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is launching a new advisory program to improve women’s employment opportunities in Egypt.
IFC which is a member of the World Bank Group aims at highlighting how Egypt’s private sector companies can invest in the county’s large, underutilized female talent and spur economic growth.
In a statement by the corporation, IFC said the program will run for three years and will help create family-friendly, flexible workplaces to make Egyptian businesses more resilient, agile and inclusive, especially in times of crises.
In 2019, only 24 per cent of working-age women participated in Egypt’s labour market in 2019, compared to 75 per cent of men. If women and men participated equally, the country’s GDP could rise by 34 per cent.
“The participation of women is macro-critical, it is no longer lip service, all stakeholders from the public and private sector as well as IFIs are coming together to progress towards gender parity, as we see its quantifiable impact on GDP, productivity and as a catalyst to push the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals forward. We are proud that Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa to launch the ‘Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator’, a private-public platform for collaboration to reach gender parity, with the World Economic Forum,” said Dr Rania el Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Arab Republic of Egypt.
IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen, Walid Labadi said that creating economic opportunities for women in Egypt is a strategic priority for IFC.
“Private sector companies are starting to realize the potential of the female workforce to overcome skill and talent shortages and spur economic growth. More flexible, remote and family-friendly working arrangements benefit companies and support both their female and male employees.” Walid Labadi added.
For IFC to reach the widest group of firms, it will also partner with an Egyptian business association to create a peer-learning platform to raise awareness, share knowledge and improve women’s access to jobs.
IFC will also partner with the World Bank to help remove legal barriers to women’s employment by supporting economy-wide policy reform dialogue.