COVID-19 crisis provides unique opportunity to support women's role in economy: Minister Al Mashat

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 28 Jun 2020

Egypt Women

As the world starts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, there is a unique opportunity to promote the role of women in the public and private sectors, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al Mashat said.

Al Mashat made her comments during a videoconference held virtually on Sunday with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sir Suma Chakrabarti and the EBRD’S Managing Director for Policy and Governance Mattia Romani to discuss key gender-inclusive policy recommendations relevant to policy makers and the private sector in order to ensure that future recovery measures are gender responsive.

“Effective gender-inclusive policies, ranging from accessing financial rescue packages, credit and unemployment benefits to removing barriers for women to perform higher-skilled and better-paid jobs, can help unlock the full potential for women’s equal participation in the economy,” Al Mashat said.

The webinar showcased crisis recovery policies in place currently and in the future to support business resilience and sustainability through public-private partnerships.

It also touched upon emerging evidence around gender-differentiated market transition and the economic impact of the crisis, and how it can be used to feed into the Women20’s development of a gender responsive global and regional crisis recovery roadmap.

For the EBRD, it aims to increase gender equality and equality of opportunities in the countries where the EBRD invests, as an important contributor to well-functioning market economies and inclusive societies, a core component of sustainable and equitable transition.

Egypt was highlighted in the discussion as an exemplar case, since it was the first country to issue a policy paper outlining “Egypt’s Rapid Response to Women’s Situation during the COVID-19 Outbreak” and initiated the bimonthly Gender Policy Tracker to track the government’s response to the crisis through a gender lens.

“Together with the National Council for Women; we are ensuring that development financing initiatives have a gender-inclusive element to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. The Ministry of International Cooperation with its multilateral and bilateral partners are collaborating closely to push forward the gender agenda, a national priority, to showcase actual results on ground across women economic empowerment, labor inclusion, social protection and sectoral support,” Al Mashat explained.

Egypt was recently awarded by the EBRD in its 2020 Annual Sustainability Awards for its commitment to the Environment and Social Sustainability on Gender and Inclusion.


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