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The Ministry of International Cooperation announces the launch of the IFC New Advisory Program to Help Boost Women’s Employment in Egypt “The participation of women is macro-critical, it is no longer lip service”. Dr. Rania Al Mashat

The main objective of the program will be to further encourage private sector companies to better engage women in the labor market, which is essential to boost economic growth. “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,” stated Al-Mashat.

The program would work on fostering more flexible workplaces for women to help Egyptian businesses become more resilient and inclusive, especially in times of crises, thereby boosting economic growth. Dr. Al-Mashat stressed that pushing the gender agenda through multilateralism is of top priority for the Government of Egypt “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,” stated the Minister. Within this context, IFC will partner with an Egyptian business association to create a peer-learning platform to raise awareness, share knowledge and improve women’s access to jobs. The program will also be implemented in partnership with the government of the Netherlands, part of a broader effort aimed at private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. On his part, Walid Labadi, IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen noted that “Creating economic opportunities for women in Egypt is a strategic priority for IFC,” adding that “Private sector companies are starting to realize the potential of the female workforce to overcome skill and talent shortages and spur economic growth.” IFC is also working with several leading companies under the program for developing an action plan upon collecting gender disaggregated human resources and company data and analyzing gender gaps in their workforce in order to help close these gaps. These include healthcare provider IDH, retailer Metro Markets, and Banque Misr. IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, and Egypt is a priority market with a total private-led sector development portfolio of USD5.8 billion.