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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Egypt launches Closing Gender Gap Accelerator, the first in Africa and MENA region

Through launching such a model, Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) to launch this unique public-private collaboration model supported by the WEF platform

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 20 Jul 2020
Women work in a factory that makes men
File Photo: Women work in a factory that makes men's suits in 10th of Ramadan City, Egypt, Feb. 22, 2006. (Reuters)
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Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, the National Council for Women (NCW), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have launched the ‘Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator,’ a national public-private collaboration model which enables governments and businesses to take decisive action to close economic gender gaps.

The model supports public and private leaders "in shaping innovative pathways to promote gender equality, diversity, inclusion and economic mobility through a three-year action plan, which is central to Egypt’s reform agenda," the Ministry of International Cooperation said.

Through launching such a model, Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) to launch this unique public-private collaboration model supported by the WEF platform.

The Accelerator focuses on four key objectives; preparing women for the post COVID-19 world of work, including closing gender gaps in remuneration between and within sectors, enabling women’s participation in the labour force, and advancing more women into management and leadership roles, according to the statement.

Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said that the launch of Egypt’s Gender Gap Accelerator highlights the government’s continued commitment to applying needed policies and structural reforms to push the gender agenda and empower Egyptian women, as women’s participation in the economy is macro-critical.

Al-Mashat said that the Gender Accelerator 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.

The minister added that leveraging on the WEF’s global platform, the accelerator will help expedite the implementation of the fifth goal of sustainable development (SDG5), which relates to achieving gender equality, across sectors in Egypt and will serve as a multi-stakeholder platform.

President of the NCW Maya Morsy expounded that the Accelerator will be the hub for all the initiatives that fall under the Women’s Economic Empowerment Pillar of the Egyptian National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030, adding that it will also allow economic opportunities for women post-COVID-19.

“Adapting this tool to the Egyptian context is another guide that is used to enhance our own strategized and coordinated efforts for an effective and efficient outcome,” Morsy said.

Egypt is the latest country committing to action alongside eight other governments that have adopted the model, according to Ministry of International Cooperation.

The Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator will be led by the Ministry of International Cooperation and the NCW, while four leading CEOs covering a wide spectrum of businesses will lead the Accelerator from the private sector.

The Private Sector Representatives include the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Qala’a Holdings, Travco Group International, and Delta Investment Holdings.

"The Accelerator platform will engage with up to 100 private companies in various economic sectors, in addition to civil society experts targeting the endorsement of policies and plans to advance women’s economic empowerment in different fields and on all levels. This should bring together multi-stakeholder actors across the public and private sectors to generate in-depth local assessment, as well as develop needs-based policies and action plans to address all deficiencies hindering complete and equal female economic participation, according to the statement.

“Egypt has made tremendous investments in its human capital 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 managing director and head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society at the WEF Saadia Zahidi.

She added that the WEF is delighted that Egypt will be the first country from the region to join the global network of Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators.

The 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, according to Ministry of International Cooperation.

"It also will engage companies on the strong business case for advancing gender parity in their workforces and taking action on promoting women’s participation, upgrading their leadership skills and wages, while the government drives new policies and initiatives as well as tracks progress," according to the ministry.

 

Statement: All you need to know about the new Accelerator

 

1. What is the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator model?

• The World Economic Forum’s Accelerator is a national public-private collaboration platform which engages governments and businesses to take action in closing economic gender gaps.

• The model helps public and private leaders design innovative pathways for growth and shaping tomorrow’s education and workforce landscape, as well as to push gender parity, diversity, inclusion and economic mobility.

2. Who are the key stakeholders in Egypt?

• The Accelerator in Egypt is governed through the following structure:

3. What are its objectives on both the national and international levels?

• On the national level: The model currently focuses on four main objectives:

a. Preparing women for the post COVID-19 world of work.
b. Closing gender gaps in remuneration between and within sectors.
c. Enabling women’s participation in the labour force.
d. Advancing more women into management and leadership.

• On the international level: each country’s accelerator is considered part of the global network for co-creating solutions through the World Economic Forum’s Platform.

4. How is the Accelerator model applied to each country’s local context?

The Accelerator is preceded by a system analysis done on the country level in coordination with key stakeholders and local coordinators. The system analysis includes both quantitative and qualitative analyses.  

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