Cairo, Egypt, April 6, 2017—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, hosted a roundtable discussion last week to support
gender equality in Egypt and address the barriers
that prevent women from participating fully in the economy.
The event, Egypt’s Businesses: Building Value and Accelerating Growth
through Gender Inclusion, brought together leading players from across
the private sector. It called for companies to play a stronger role in
generating employment, leadership, and business opportunities for women.
It also addressed the challenges faced by women in Egypt, and ways to unleash
their economic potential. Representatives from Vodafone Egypt, Coca-Cola,
IBM, and Sekem were among those who participated in the event.
“Women’s inclusion in the private sector is a strategic priority for
IFC in Egypt,” said Nada Shousha, IFC Senior Advisor in Egypt. “Investing
in women is not only essential for economic growth, but it’s also good
for Egypt’s economy. Companies that attract and retain female employees
have a wider and better talent pool. At the same time, banks that lend
to women-owned SMEs could tap into a currently unserved credit market worth
In Egypt, women represent just 12 percent of permanent full-time workers
and 30 percent of business owners. Only 7 percent of Egypt’s firms are
led by a female executive, and they earn, on average, about 22 percent
less than their male counterparts. If Egypt closed these gaps and achieved
full gender parity in its labor market, it could see its gross domestic
product increase by 34 percent.
IFC is reducing these economic gender gaps in the region by working with
partners, companies and financial institutions to increase women’s access
to finance, employment, and corporate leadership, and create a lending
market for women entrepreneurs. Through its Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity
Facility, IFC is investing in banks for on-lending to women-owned SMEs.
In addition, through its investments in companies across the Middle East
and North Africa, IFC investee companies have generated more than 120,000
jobs for women over the past decade.
Globally, IFC has invested more than $1 billion in private-sector banks
via its Banking on Women program and provided advisory services to banks
that want to better serve the women’s market. We enable financial institutions
to better address the needs of women-owned small and medium enterprises,
and work with private sector clients and partners to ensure women-focused
initiatives are part of wider employment efforts.
IFC, 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