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World Economic Forum Announces Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator in Egypt

Published
24 Sep 2019
2019
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Alem Tedeneke, Public Engagement+1 646 204 9191, Email: ated@weforum.org

  • World Economic Forum and Government of Egypt have joined forces to close economic gender gaps in the country
  • Egypt’s Minister of Tourism of Egypt has signed a Letter of Intent laying the ground for a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator in the country, at the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2019
  • Follow the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2019 at http://wef.ch/sdi19

New York, USA, 23 September 2019 – The World Economic Forum is establishing a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator in Egypt to increase the number of women in the labour market, promote more women into economic leadership positions, close wage gaps and ensure that women have the skills demanded by the future of work and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Applying a model of public-private collaboration on workplace gender parity developed by the Forum, Egypt is the latest country committing to action alongside eight other governments that have adopted the model. The Gender Gap Accelerator will be led by government ministers and chief executive officers in the country to take proactive action to advance women’s economic empowerment.

While more women than men are now enrolled in university, women represent only a little over a third of professional and technical workers in Egypt. Women who are in the workforce are also less likely to be paid the same as their male colleagues for equivalent work or to reach senior management roles. Egypt currently ranks 139 out of 149 countries on the economic participation and opportunity gender gap, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018.

The Gender Gap Accelerator is designed to identify key economic gender gaps, develop public- and private-sector interventions for narrowing these gaps, and commit relevant stakeholders from both sectors to a three-year action plan. Central to this effort will be engaging companies on the strong business case for advancing gender parity in their workforces and taking action on women’s participation, skills, wages and leadership, while the government drives new policies and initiatives and tracks progress.

Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa to launch this public-private collaboration model supported by the World Economic Forum’s platform.

“Egypt has made tremendous investments in its human capital foundation by expanding women’s higher education in recent years. The accelerator will support local efforts to unleash the full potential of women in the Egyptian economy,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum. “The World Economic Forum is delighted Egypt will be the first country from the region to join the global network of Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators.”

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, said: “At Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism, implementing policies that enable the UN SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] is the essence of the Egypt – Tourism Reform Program (E–TRP), which aims to create a sustainable tourism sector through adopting structural reforms that strengthen the sector’s competitiveness and are in line with international standards. Moreover, Gender Equality, SDG5, has been pushed by the National Council of Women through the Women’s Strategy-2030 adopted in 2017 which confirms Egypt’s commitment to empower Egyptian women as key players in the process of sustainable development.”

Al-Mashat added: “Today, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism together with National Council of Women and the World Economic Forum launch the Egypt Gender Gap accelerator that 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. Leveraging on the Forum’s global platform and the cross-cutting nature of Egypt’s tourism sector, being interlinked with more than 80 other industries and 98% privately led, the accelerator will indeed help expedite the implementation of SDG5 across sectors in Egypt.”

The Sustainable Development Impact Summit takes place in New York, 23-24 September. This year’s meeting will convene more than 800 regional and global leaders from government, business, civil society and academia. The meeting will explore four themes: transforming markets, accelerating climate action, financing sustainable development and mobilizing action for inclusive societies.

The Co-Chairs of the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2019 are Jesper Brodin, CEO and President, Ingka Group (IKEA Retail, Ingka Centres, Ingka Investments); Sebastián Piñera Echenique, President of Chile; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; and Melati Wijsen, Co-Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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