Press Releases

IFC and Partners Ring the Bell for Women Empowerment in Lebanon

In Cairo

Riham Mustafa

Phone: +202 2461 4230


Mohamed Essa

Phone: +202 2461 4331


Beirut, Lebanon, March 7, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the Beirut Stock Exchange, UN Women, Global Compact Network in Lebanon, Excellence in Governance Lebanon, is hosting a conference to promote gender equality and increase women's participation in Lebanon’s economy.

The event, Ring the Bell for Bell for Gender Equality, brings together business leaders, investors, government officials, civil society members, and other key partners at the country level to highlight the business case for gender equality. It aims to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

“Increasing women’s participation on boards will result in a greater focus on corporate governance, which is key to improving performance and attracting investors,” said Saad Sabra, IFC Country Head in Lebanon.

The event will also showcase the findings of a recent report that IFC conducted on a sample of 1600 companies in Lebanon. The study, Women on Boards, identifies relationship between board gender diversity and company financial performance in Lebanon and highlights barriers to women’s access to board positions. It finds that gender diverse boards have stronger company performance, better workplace environment and higher employee satisfaction levels.

The study revealed that Lebanese companies with gender-diverse boards outperformed those with all-male boards. On average, companies exhibited higher profitability measures and better solvency. Companies with female board members exhibited double the return on equity (20.7 percent compared to 10.3 percent for all-male boards), and 2.3 percent higher growth in return on assets.

Last year, a record 65 exchanges rang their bells for gender equality. Now, in its fifth iteration, a global collaboration across [66] stock exchanges around the world plan to ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 (Friday, 8 March 2019).  

The event is part of IFC’s corporate governance program in MENA, which aims to help local firms operate more efficiently and improve access to capital. The program is supported by the government of Canada.  

About IFC

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 extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit  

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