Left to right: Mr. Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt Tourism Minister, and Ms. Saadia Zahidi, Director-General and President of the Center for New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum. (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet)
During her visit to the US to participate in the World Economic Forum Summit on the Impacts of Sustainable Development, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat signed a letter of intent to implement Egypt's 'Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator' project, in collaboration with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the World Economic Forum.
The project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, aims to foster cooperation between the public and private sectors to eliminate the gender gap.
The letter of intent was also signed by Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, and Saadia Zahidi, director-general and president of the Centre for New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum.
The project aims to increase the participation of women in the labour market, encourage more women to assume economic leadership positions, fill the wage gap, and contribute to enhancing Egypt's efforts in the field of empowering women regionally and internationally.
These goals are aligned with the ministry’s structural reform programme and the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, which states that by 2030, Egyptian women will become a key and active partner in achieving sustainable development.
The project will be led by Minister Al-Mashat and president of the NCW Maya Morsi, in coordination with the private sector. The duration of the project is three years, during which effective policies will be adopted to eliminate the gender gap and empower women. The project will also push the big companies to work on promoting gender equality in the workplace.
Al-Mashat also participated in a session titled 'Leapfrogging to Gender Parity,' where she discussed the importance of promoting women's participation in the workforce and encouraging them to take up leadership positions.
Al-Mashat also mentioned that the ministry is working to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations and link them to the tourism sector.
She stressed on the importance of cooperation between the ministry, the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) and the NCW, and referred to the ministry’s intention to obtain the UNDP's Gender Equality Seal (GES) in the tourism sector.
The World Economic Forum Summit on the Impact of Sustainable Development was held from 23 to 24 September in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings.
The forum involved a series of high-level discussions with the participation of a number of leaders of international organisations, governments, businesses and civil society. It aims to promote international cooperation and increase partnerships between public and private sectors to implement the SDGs.