Dhaka, Bangladesh, 12 March 2019—International
Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering
with Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and UN Women to “Ring the Bell for Gender
Equality” – a global initiative linked with International Women’s Day
that promotes women’s participation in the global economy to catalyze
sustainable and inclusive private sector growth.
For the fourth time in a row, Bangladesh
was able to hold the top position among South Asian countries in ensuring
gender equality. As indicated by the Global Gender Gap Index 2018, issued
by the World Economic Forum, the country has closed
almost 72 percent of its overall gender
gap, with advances in every aspect of the Economic Opportunity and Participation
indicator. However, there is a widening gender gap in labor force participation.
“According to global research, board diversity
can have positive impacts on financial performance, shareholder value,
stakeholder satisfaction, investor confidence, and reputation. The Dhaka
Stock Exchange is uniquely positioned to play an important part in promoting
women leadership in listed companies, with the support of investors and
the private sector,” said K.A.M. Majedur Rahman, Managing Director, Dhaka
Stock Exchange Ltd.
Globally, women hold 15 percent of board
seats but only 4 percent of global CEO and board chair positions. A recent
IFC research on women on boards found that 18 percent of listed company
board directors in 2018 were women – up from 17 percent in 2017. The research
also highlights continued progress of women as independent directors –
from 3 percent last year to 4 percent now.
“Increased inclusion of women in the workforce
and in leadership roles has a positive effect on companies’ financial
performance. The benefits are clear, we need to make them widely known,”
said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
The Ring the Bell event also marked the release
of the first report on ‘Women on Boards of Companies Listed on the Dhaka
Stock Exchange’, featuring a directory comprising of 507 women board directors
out of a total 2,871 directors of DSE-listed companies in 2018. The directory
contains details of board positions, skill qualifications, and experience
of the female board members representing different sectors including banking
and finance, textile, and pharmaceuticals.
“When more women work, economies grow. Closing
the gender gap and empowering women is particularly important for a country
like Bangladesh to unleash the full growth potential,” Shoko Ishikawa,
Country Representative, UN Women.
The theme of this year’s UN Women – a global
partner of Ring the Bell event - also focuses on innovative ways in which
the private sector can advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”
event is a global partnership of IFC,
Stock Exchanges Initiative
Global Compact, UN
and the World
Federation of Exchanges.
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. We work with more than
2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence
to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world.
In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing
for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to
help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
About UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality
and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) works to eliminate discrimination
against women and girls, to empower women, and to achieve equality between
women and men. For more information, visit http://www.unwomen.org