News and more

Keep Updated On The Progress

The Future is Female: Emerging with Inclusivity & Gender Equality Goals Post-Pandemic

Goal 17 Partners is a non-profit organization that collaborates with the private sector to establish effective partnerships in the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The conclave brought together a network of leading executives and entrepreneurs integrating the UN’s SDGs into business models and practices including, Sara Moss, Vice Chair, Estée Lauder, Ann Cairns Executive Vice Chairman, Mastercard, Dr. Laura Linda Sabbadini, W20 Chair for Italy’s G20, David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group, Dana Barksy, COO of Sustainability, Strategy, Advisory and Finance, Credit Suisse, Sharon Thome, Global Chair, Deloitte, Anne Finucane, Vice Chair, Bank of America, amongst others.

Minister Al Mashat stated that The Government of Egypt has taken a leap forward by adopting policies and carrying out reforms, related to Gender Parity. In 2018, the Egyptian National Council of Women issued the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030 with the aim of driving change. Adding that the pandemic has pushed all policy makers to accelerate reforms, to be able to build back better through nurturing inclusivity and diversity. Egypt was the first country to provide a women-specific response during COVID-19 launched by the National Council For Women (NCW). The country also scored 1st place in the Middle East and West Asia regions with 21 policy measures according to the UNDP COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker. Al-Mashat stated that during the pandemic, women have been seen to work at their homes and for their homes creating a “double-double shift” further proving the resilience and power that women hold. Emerging from the pandemic, the value and importance of the role women play in the economy is evident. In July 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation, together with the World Economic Forum and the NCW, launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” the first of its kind public-private collaboration model in Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa, that aims to help governments and businesses take decisive action to close economic gender gaps, increasing women’s participation in the labour force, closing gender gaps, advancing women into leadership positions and hardwiring gender parity in the future of work. “The role of women in the economy is “macro-critical”, it is no longer lip-service” Al-Mashat said. According to a UNDP report in 2018 on Africa, if women entered the workforce at the same rate as men, the economic output would increase to $962 billion. In Egypt, 48.4% of the population is female accounting for 48 million women of which 23 million are supporting families, out of which 3.3 families are headed by women. According to the UNDP Human Development Indices (HDIs), Egypt surpassed the average scores of Arab countries in all indices and the global average score of the Gender Inequality Index. Being able to create safe spaces for women to work and learn also goes hand in hand with Egypt’s gender agenda. A safe environment in the streets, homes or workplaces is integral to helping women achieve their full potential. In the summer of 2020, Egypt won two Sustainability Awards granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for its development in "Sustainable Energy” and “Gender and Inclusion”. One of those awards went to the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) for contributing to safe transport for women’s economic inclusion and providing access to education. Education reform in Egypt also encompasses inclusivity. An exemplar initiative would be the establishment of the 12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) High School for boys and girls. The project, established in 2011 and financed through the USAID with the Ministry of International Cooperation; taps on the pool of talented women, encouraging them to lead in research and technology. Overall, around 34 projects, worth $3.3 billion, are being executed to achieve the targets of gender equality, with the top targeted sectors including Health (20%), Education (14%), and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) (15%). The Ministry of International Cooperation’s current portfolio of projects that exclusively target SDG 5 include 13 projects amounting to $82 million. This is in addition to the other projects in the portfolio that achieve the same goal as a collateral effect to their development. In 2020, the Ministry secured an additional development financing dedicated to SDG 5, with a total of $7 million through bilateral cooperation with Spain and Canada. In the past 6 years, Egypt has witnessed notable positive progress on the women empowerment and gender equality agenda. Al-Mashat further explained that 25% of the Egyptian Parliament seats are allocated to women, with 8 crucial ministries led by women in the cabinet. Through its political will, 20 constitutional provisions that guarantee the rights of women was established in 2014.