Shaghalni (Employ Me) is an Egyptian online platform that helps job-seekers, whether men or women, find jobs.
Last Saturday, however, it organised a job fair for women only, the first of its kind in Egypt. The event was organised at the Greek Campus in Cairo in cooperation with a large number of prominent companies and public institutions.
Job opportunities in various fields were available, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, sales, marketing, tourism, hotels, engineering and the sciences, and computers and accounting.
Shaghalni links both blue and white-collar job-seekers to available job opportunities. “Lately, that there has been a big appetite towards gender diversity within the companies working with us, and that is why we thought of taking the initiative of organising a job fair for women only,” Omar Khalifa, founder and CEO of Shaghalni, told the Weekly.
He said they wanted corporates to concentrate on providing women with jobs, especially keeping in mind state policies and society’s needs with regard to employment in accordance with sustainable development plans.
Khalifa said the platform was also designed to promote women’s economic and social empowerment and that there would be other steps to provide more job opportunities for women.
There needs to be more awareness of the importance of women’s work, he added. “Unfortunately, some companies may reject a woman and pick a man instead for a job because they think a woman may get married and take maternity leave if she becomes pregnant. This is very unfair,” he said.
“However, I think things are getting better, and events like the current fair help raise awareness.”
Around 3,000 women showed up at the fair, where approximately 1,500 jobs were on offer, whether full-time, part-time, or remote and suiting women regardless of marital status.
There were also jobs featured in the fair that might have appeared to be more male-oriented like a truck-driver vacancy. “If a woman wants to be a truck driver, she should be encouraged to do so,” Khalifa said.
Khalifa said that the platform intends to expand the provision of suitable job opportunities for women in various specialisations and at varying educational levels in order to advance women’s equality in the labour market.
Women in Egypt represent only 14.3 per cent of the labour force, according to a Shaghalni press release. But they represent around 50 per cent of the population.
Shaghalni also supports employment initiatives for marginalised groups, and it previously cooeprated with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Helm Foundation to set up the Azm Forum for Inclusive Employment that aims to provide job opportunities for people with special needs.
It has also cooperated with the Misr Al-Kheir Foundation, a charity, to found the Al-Gharemeen (loan) programme that helps people back into the labour market.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 18 November, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly