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IFC and Amman Stock Exchange ‘Ring the Bell’ for Gender Equality


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa (IFC)
Phone: +2-202-2461-4230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

In Washington, DC:
Loty Salazar (IFC)
Phone: +1-202-458-2559
E-mail: lsalazar@worldbank.org                                                              


Amman, Jordan, March 9, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Amman Stock Exchange, and the Jordan Institute of Directors are joining 43 stock exchanges around the world in a global initiative to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”a partnership that highlights how the private sector can spur women’s participation in the economy.

While half of the world’s women participate in the labour market, many have fewer employment opportunities and lower incomes than their male counterparts. In developing countries, they also have less access to capital and property ownership, slowing growth. IFC has estimated a $300 billion global gap in financing for formal, women-owned small businesses. More than 70 percent of women-owned small and medium enterprises have inadequate or no access to financial services.

“Evidence from stock exchanges around the world demonstrates that listed companies with women representation on boards outperform those without. IFC welcomes the unified and powerful voice that stock exchanges add to advocating for equal gender representation on companies’ boards as a smart business strategy,” said Ethiopis Tafara, IFC Vice President for Sustainability and Integrity Risk and General Counsel.  

Women in Jordan make up 15 percent of the labour force. Nearly four-fifths of listed firms do not have any women on their boards, according to a recent study by IFC. The study, which examined over 1200 Jordanian companies, found that those with female directors performed significantly better than those without, with a return on assets three times higher and return on equity twice as high.

“Balanced boardrooms result in higher productivity and returns on investment for companies, and better organizational effectiveness, which encourages new investments and boost economic growth” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC Regional Head of Operations in the Middle East and North Africa.


In the Middle East and North Africa, stock exchanges in Cairo and Amman are ringing the bells to mark International Women’s Day and 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.


IFC believe that women—as consumers, employees, business leaders, and entrepreneurs—have the potential to transform the global economy, supporting job creation, raising per-capita incomes, and promoting sustainable development.


Now in its third iteration, the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event series is a partnership of IFC,
Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in ETFs, and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges.

About IFC

As a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative

The SSE is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges—in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies—can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues. The SSE is convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).  For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit www.sseinitiative.org. Follow us on Twitter: @sseinitiative

UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories based in over 170 countries, and more than 85 Local Networks. For more information, visit www.unglobalcompact.org. Follow us on Twitter: @globalcompact

UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org

Women in ETFs

Women in ETFs is the first women’s group for the ETF industry. Founded in January 2014, WE is a non-profit organization that brings together over 2,500 members, including women and men, in chapters in major financial centers across the United States, Canada, EMEA and Asia Pacific to further the careers of women by leveraging our collective skill and ambition.   Women in ETFs brings together women and men in the ETF industry in the United States, Canada, EMEA and Asia Pacific to: 1. CONNECT: Create opportunities for professional advancement of women by expanding connections among women and men in the ETF industry, 2. SUPPORT: Offer guidance for the current and next generation of women in ETFs and 3. INSPIRE: Provide forums for education and idea sharing across the industry and beyond. For more information, visit: www. womeninetfs.com  Follow us on Twitter: @WomeninETFs. Follow us on Linkedin: Women in ETFs

World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 350 market data indicators. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies. The WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent markets. It works with policy makers, regulators and standard-setters around the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for exchanges and market participants. For more information, please visit: https://www.world-exchanges.org

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