MENA-OECD Directory of Initiatives Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment
The purpose of this directory is to disseminate information on a variety of institutions that support women's economic empowerment in the MENA region by:
This information was collected by the OECD Secretariat of the MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme with the support of the MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum. Initial desk research was submitted for validation by early January 2018 to the listed instances.
last updated on 15/02/2018
Description: The RAFA objectives’ include federating the efforts of Algerian businesswomen and managers, contributing to the economic and social development of the nation, participating in social economic debates initiated by various governmental and non-governmental bodies, encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship for Algerian businesswomen, and creating a space for dialogue and communication for women entrepreneurs in all areas of business culture and ethics.
ALGERIAN WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION FOR THE REVALORIZATION AND ENLARGEMENT OF WOMEN'S PERSPECTIVES (AFCARE)
ALGERIAN WOMEN CLAIMING THEIR RIGHTS (FARD)
Description: Founded in 1995, FARD works towards equality before the law and supports women through training, education and awareness.
Description: The CGEA is an independent employers' organisation which brings together most of the private wealth-creating companies of Algeria. It is recognised as a privileged interlocutor of the Government and its social partners. In 2015, it launched the project ‘Women for Growth’ with the support of the International Labour Organisation, which aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs generating jobs and contributing to the growth of Algeria.
Description: AME brings together leading Algerian women from Sarl, Spa, Snc or Eurl companies.
Description: The National SME Development Agency supports the implementation of the national policy of development of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Algeria.
Description: The National Support Agency for Youth Employment supports young project leaders, taking into account their economic and social environment.
SAVOIR VOULOIR ET ENTREPRENDRE (SEVE)
Description: SEVE is an association of Algerian women entrepreneurs.
Description: The Arab Council of Businesswomen is an economic association under the auspices of the League of Arab States. Its membership is made up of businesswomen associations, bodies, associations and companies in Arab countries. It also includes branches or departments within chambers of commerce of member countries which work specifically with women.
Description: The Bahrain Businesswomen Society aims to connect and represent its members in order to increase business and promote, empower and support entrepreneurs by sharing knowledge and best practices in the view of obtaining a better position in the world of business.
Description: The Bahrain Women’s Union is comprised of Bahraini women's associations with diverse capacities aiming to advance women’s issues in Bahraini society.
Description: The Businesswomen Committee of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce aims to bolster ties between women from all over the world and enhance the standing of business women, working women and housewives.
Description: The federation aims to economically empower women and youth through training and education, and support them in building businesses which highlight their creative skills through the use of “enterprise incubators” that are available for productive families and people with low income.
Description: SCW's mission is: To empower Bahraini women and merge their needs with development programs to ensure the sustainability of their family stability and familial bond. To consolidate the principle of equal opportunities in order to ensure competitiveness of Bahraini women, continuity of lifelong learning and providing diverse opportunities to Bahraini women in order to enhance the standard of their quality of life within a framework of legislation and supporting policies.
FEDERATION OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS IN COMMON MARKET FOR EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA (FEMCOM)
Description:FEMCOM aims to support Women in Business from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and beyond through programmes that promote, encourage and serve the needs of women and their businesses working in smart collaboration with relevant partners at all levels.
Description: NIPA encourages the promotion of investment in Djibouti through a policy of flexibility in investment operations, a modern regulatory framework and procedures.
Description: The union works for the rehabilitation of Djiboutian women as rightful citizens and actresses of the socio-economic and political development of the country.
Description: ABWA’s mission is to nurture the capabilities of Egyptian businesswomen, enhance their cultural and social awareness and enable them to work successfully within their respective markets while changing preconceived notions about working women and their economic roles.
Description: The Alliance for Arab Women strives to increase the capacity of women to be active and equal participants in their communities as well as to promote and strengthen the role of women in society.
Description: The AWO is an intergovernmental organisation established under the umbrella of the League of Arab States and is headquartered in Egypt. It works toward empowering Arab women and building their capacities to promote progress of Arab societies, raising awareness of the necessity of engaging women as equal partners in societal development and co-ordinating Arab efforts in order to foster women’s empowerment and elevate awareness of their vital role in society.
Description: The works toward creating an enabling legal environment in order to increase women's access to finance and different markets as well as increasing access to training and business infrastructure.
BUSINESS WOMEN ASSOCIATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Description: CAPMAS’s goal is to produce trusted and targeted statistics to meet the needs of State Authorities, business society, universities, research centres, researchers, public users and International Organizations according to international standards. It notably works on producing indicators and statistics on the situation of Egyptian Women and their participation in Parliamentary life.
Description: The Development of Business Women Export Ability Association aims to help the Alexandrian Women's small- and medium-sized enterprises to develop their exports.
EGYPTIAN BUSINESS WOMEN ASSOCIATION
Description: The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organisation. The Centre is dedicated to supporting women struggling to research their full rights and establishing gender equality. ECWR works on eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and urging legislative authorities to reconsider all legislation opposing women-related international agreements, at the top of which The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Description: The National Council for Women’s goal works to improve the human and socio-economic conditions of Egyptian women and increase the ratio of their participation in the development of their local communities and hence the development of society as a whole.
Description: The Women Business Development Centre provides women with tools and skills to establish, run and sustain small- and medium-sized businesses (SME’s), or enter the Egyptian workforce well prepared via training, in addition to assisting working women sharpen their skills for improved performance.
Description: At the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt), one of the most active committees is the Women in Business Committee, whose objective is to foster and support the professional development of women in business using AmCham's four activity pillars: awareness, advocacy, building connections and services. The committee does this by implementing a program of activities and providing a forum for women to share and learn from each other's successes. The committee is also dedicated to developing and promoting strong women leaders and to promoting women’s participation on the boards of organisations and within the wider business community.
Description: The ANBAR Business Centre aims to enable the provincial investment community so that it benefits from and contributes to the development of a strong regional market and to make it capable of using new methods and techniques in managing their businesses.
ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS (AWE)
Description: AWE supports small women’s projects through training and skill improvement activities, and calls for the annulment of discriminatory laws.
Description: The DEDC seeks to further investment opportunities and facilitate job creation by providing a variety of skills training to the local community and by promoting small- and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups as well as the development of established businesses in the province of Diyala.
HILLA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Description: The Hilla Business Development Centre provides assistance to Iraqi companies and business associations and facilitates business relationships between Iraqi and International companies to stimulate the development of a vibrant private sector in Iraq.
Description: The IASD focuses on building an orderly, viable, fair and transparent market that effectively serves the Iraqi economy by providing technical assistance and services to both the business community and local community in Baghdad.
Description: The Iraqi Women Network co-ordinates with NGOs which work specifically with women to build democracy, law enforcement, human rights, and works to eliminate violence and all forms of discrimination against women in the new Iraq.
Description: The Salahaddin Businesswomen Centre aims to empower women and provide the necessary assistance and tools for them to increase the number of women-owned small businesses and women employed in Iraq.
Description: TheWEO works to prevent and respond to gender based violence (GBV) and provides survivors of GBV with social and psychological counselling, legal assistance, case management and advocates increased legal protection for women. It also facilitates a variety of trainings and workshops with KRG ministries, community and religious leaders, judges and police officers in an effort to provide information and secure community members’ support for enhancing women’s rights and protection.
Description: The Ahli Microfinance Company is a sustainable microfinance institution which provides financial and developmental services to low income citizens to help them grow their enterprises and achieve a higher quality of life, through employing updated techniques and competent employees.
Description: TheBPWA is a dynamic business association of dedicated female professionals, established in 1976 by a number of professional and pioneering women in Jordan.
Description: One of the Business Development Centre’s core objectives is creating employment opportunities and building individual capacities for young people, women and professionals.
Description: The Development and Employment Fund aims to create independent work opportunities as a way of decreasing the number of poor and un-employed by granting them obtainable loans, and technical and administrative help to enable them to establish small and medium projects to create sustainable employment opportunities.
Description: FINCA Jordan is a community-based bank that profitably and responsibly provides innovative and impactful financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures.
GENERAL FEDERATION OF JORDANIAN WOMEN
Description: The federation works on improving political, economic and social skills and the potential of Jordanian women. It develops and improves the self-competence of women by means of training and rehabilitation, and increases women's contribution in economic, social and political areas.
Description: INJAZ's goal is to inspire and prepare young people to become productive members of their society and accelerate the development of the national economy.
Description: JEDCO works at supporting the development of emerging businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises in Jordan.
Description: The Jordan Forum for Business & Professional Women is a non-profit business association that was established in 1976 for the purpose of serving Jordanian business and professional women, and increasing their contribution to the development of the national economy of Jordan.
Description: The JIC is the lead governmental agency promoting Jordan as an investment destination and exporter. It provides the highest possible levels of service and support to investors, and guides those investors through the nation’s legislative and institutional framework.
Description: TheJLGC aims to provide the necessary guarantees to facilitate the financing of small- and medium-sized enterprises and national export, to contribute to the process of economic growth, job creation and national export encouragement.
Description: The JNCW′s mission is to support the mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas and to narrow the gap between formal acknowledgement of women′s rights as detailed by legislation and societal attitudes towards women.
Description: The Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU), headquartered in Amman, is a non-governmental, democratically elected organisation that is committed to improving the status of women. It is one of the most prominent and influential women’s organisations in the Arab world and has established strong networks with women’s movements, both nationally and internationally.
Description: The Microfund for Women provides financial services to low-income population, small business owners (especially women) in Jordan in order to empower them economically and socially.
Description: The funds’ mission is to promote SME's contribution to social wellbeing.
Description: The National MicroFinance Bank provides lending services for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the basic necessities of ordinary Jordanian citizens/families in the areas of home improvement and education.
Description: NHF's programmes are designed to have the broadest reach possible and provide people with the resources, tools and opportunities that enable them to take independent initiatives, and empower themselves socially, economically and personally. Several NHF programmes have grown to become leading institutions in Jordan and the region, in the fields of family health, microfinance, women's empowerment and sustainable community development.
Description: The Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship provides services such as Networking, Recognition & Awareness, Capacity Building & Support, and Funding for Entrepreneurship
Description: Tamweelcom provides a variety of financial solutions, products and services to productive, low-income, unbanked individuals who are overlooked by mainstream financial institutions, and support their personal or business needs and ensure success and financial inclusion for all.
Description: The IWF Jordan Chapter is comprised of 46 dynamic women leaders from a variety of fields committed to building better leadership. IWF Jordan was registered in 2003 in Amman under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. It provides a platform for its members to meet on a monthly basis among peers.
Description: The Ghalia Club is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by Global Investment House (Global) aiming to empower women.
Description: INJAZ is a non-profit organisation that was established in Kuwait in 2005 with a mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Its various programs help prepare students for future success in Kuwait’s private sector based on 3 core pillars: entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.
Description: KES focuses on promoting economic growth and reform within the Kuwait economy, capacity building for its members, promoting small businesses, lobbying for legislation reform, improving transparency and curbing corruption within public institutions in order to provide equal opportunities among citizens, and strengthening its relationship with private and public sectors and international organisations.
Description: The Federation of Business and Professional Women Kuwait focuses on training female professionals to sharpen their managerial, business and professional skills.
LEBANESE BUSINESS WOMEN ASSOCIATION (LBWA)
Description: The LBWA aims to increase the role and prominence of Arab women in the economy. The association works towards encouraging women to work or to open their own businesses.
Description: The LCW is a non-governmental organisation aiming to protect human rights, women's legal rights, awareness, working women, education and more.
Description: The LLWB is a socio-economic, apolitical, non-religious association which brings together professional women by providing them with a platform to share experiences and challenges, develop competencies and skills as well as network and exchange expertise.
Description: The ministry works towards ensuring equal rights between women and men and ensuring both have the same access to economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights and privileges.
Description: The NCLW actively works towards enhancing the status of women in Lebanon.
Description: The NCFUWI was formed on 19 October 1993 in preparation of the Beijing convention in order to stage an effective participation on behalf of the Lebanese women.
Description: TheNAWF is a platform for discussions surrounding many issues concerned with the evolving role of woman in Arab society, political life and business. It also addresses prospects for women and challenges they face.
AL WAFA ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN SERVICES
Description: TheFEMCOM develops women entrepreneurship in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region and beyond through programmes that promote, encourage and serve the needs of women and their businesses, working in smart collaboration with relevant partners.
Description: Jusoor is a Libyan think and do tank committed to independent policy research on human development projects and economic and social empowerment. The first think tank focuses specifically on women issues in Libya.
Description: The Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) was launched in October 2011 by over thirty-five women from different cities and backgrounds to ensure that women remain a vital part of post-Gaddafi Libya, with a particular emphasis on inclusive transitions, women’s rights, youth leadership, advancement and security as related to women’s political and economic participation, constitutional reform and education.
Description: TheMinistry of Women and Social Development Affairs advocates Libya’s belief in the importance of promoting and consolidating women's basic rights and providing adequate legislative frameworks as basic conditions for the social, political and economic security of Libyan women.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS COMMITTEE - TRIPOLI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Description: The Libyan Women in Business Committee, launched at Tripoli’s Chamber of Commerce, offers new and established businesswomen the chance to exchange advice and experiences.
AGENCE DE DEVELOPPEMENT SOCIAL (ADS)
Description: TheADSis a public institution operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Development, Family and Solidarity. It aims to promote social development throughout Morocco.
ASSOCIATION DEMOCRATIQUE DES FEMMES DU MAROC (ADFM)
Description: The Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM) is an independent, feminist, national, non-profit and volunteer-based organisation, in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ADFM positions itself as a force of proposition and advocacy for laws and public policies reforms from the perspective of gender equality and women's citizenship in Morocco.
ASSOCIATION DE LA FEMME ENTREPRENEUR ET OPÉRATEUR D’APPUI DE TANGER
Description: The association works positively towards the creation of an optimal female entrepreneurial environment. It also wishes to promote the interests of women entrepreneurs in northern Morocco at national and international levels and to help in the training and insertion of new generations of women entrepreneurs in northern Morocco.
Description: AFEM aims to engage women's businesses on the path of innovation, support advanced regionalisation and improve the representation of the organisation in the decision-making powers at national and international levels.
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE DES DROITS DES FEMMES
Description: The association is an autonomous, non-profit women's association, based on international human rights conventions, including the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE DES FEMMES ENTREPRENEURS POUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENT ÉCONOMIQUE ET SOCIAL NORD SUD
Description: The association supports the integration of women into the professional world and women's entrepreneurship.
Description: The CGEM is the representative of the private sector to public authorities and institutions. It speaks on behalf of its 88,000 direct and affiliated members and ensures a favourable economic environment for business development.
Description: El Moukawila is a co-operative that aims to support and promote Moroccan Women Entrepreneurs who are active or in transition. The services offered by El Moukawila are: advising, training, promotion and media, networking, and mentoring.
Description: ESPOD’s main goal is women’s economic empowerment and the development of women's entrepreneurship in Morocco.
Description: Jossour FFM is a non-governmental organisation which was created by and for women to bring their skills together to work towards promoting their rights. Its objective is to strengthen the presence of women on the national scene at all levels. The economic, social, cultural and legal fields are all fields of action that Jossour FFM has been able to explore over the last 20 years.
Description: Maroc PME is a semi-governmental agency with three main objectives: improving the competitiveness of high impact companies, contributing to inclusive growth and promoting entrepreneurship.
Description: The Ministry is an administrative entity dedicated to supporting women's initiatives aiming to improve socio-economic indicators related to equality between women and men, in accordance with Morocco's commitments for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and in the context of operationalisation of the government programme and the "Icram" Government Plan.
Description: NTI strives to exceed client expectation with its industry and Omani market specific training solutions. The company has the ability to react to the diverse training needs of organisations and their employees.
OMANI WOMEN ASSOCIATION
Description: TheOmani Women Association's mission is to empower women in the fields of knowledge, skills, self-development and professional development. It promotes women’s intellectual, professional and cultural levels and activates their role in governmental and civil organisations. It highlights the role of Omani women and enhances their status and participation in local and international forums. It also maintains a database concerning its work on women’s issues in Omani society and builds up network and communication channels with the various authorities.
Description: The Omani Women's Association in AL- Mudhaibi has worked to develop a future vision of the development and spread of women's work through various programmes.
Description: The department's objectives are to develop women’s productive skills, integrate women in development programmes, enhance women’s participation in internal and external meetings and conferences, promote women in board positions and provide opportunities for developing their knowledge and productive skills.
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PALESTINE (BPW)
Description: BPW is a dynamic business association of dedicated female professionals established in 1976 by a number of professional women.
Description: The Business Women Forum is a national non-profit association established in 2006 to help “strengthen the role of businesswomen as leaders in the Palestinian economy through advocacy, networking and the provision of business services”.
Description: The Ministry focuses on mainstreaming gender issues in policies, projects and programmes among line ministries and stakeholders.
Description: ASALA is a Palestinian non-governmental organisation that empowers women who have limited resources to realise their economic and social rights by using a holistic approach to development in accordance with their needs.
Description: The Palestinian Working Women Society for Development supports gender equality and the eradication of all forms of discrimination against and promotes women’s political, economic and civil rights. It also works toward the expansion of women’s access to justice through improving psychological well-being among women and girls and combating gender-based violence.
Description: The General Union of Palestinian Women is a democratic, public faction that was established in 1965. It describes itself as the representative body for Palestinian people around the world and the umbrella for all women and non-governmental Palestinian organisations for women.
Description: The Qatar International Business Women Forum objectives are 1) to build and promote networks between businesswomen in Qatar and the rest of the world that encourage greater co-operation and pave the way for new investment opportunities for women in various sectors and businesses 2) to provide an international platform for an exchange of ideas and expertise, benefit from businesswomen’s success stories and pay tribute to the past and current achievements made by businesswomen in Qatar and the Arab world 3) to mobilise businesswomen and allow them to play an effective role in meeting and overcoming regional and international economic challenges, and in building new foundations for the economy of the future.
Description: The Roudha Centre provides innovative and effective programs and advocacy efforts for women looking to open their own business or grow their existing ones. The Centre delivers business, financial, legal and training/programming services, and mentoring and coaching. It also provides incubational assistance to empower women towards entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency.
Description: The committee aims at providing an investment environment that lives up to Saudi Arabia’s economic development, in which women’s investments and participation can thrive in different sectors while being able to compete regionally and internationally.
Description: Opened in 2004 in the Jeddah Chamber, it works to increase women’s participation in national development. The centre seeks to find suitable solutions to provide infrastructure support and to inform regulations and laws that enable women to achieve a balance between the family and other duties and responsibilities, so that their participation in national development partnership becomes sustainable as their family responsibilities evolve.
Description: Cawtar is a regional organisation. It’s mission is to eradicate discrimination against Arab women and reduce gender gaps by promoting research, education, training and advocacy in all areas of life that affect the status of women, and to carry our message to policy makers, researchers, activists and local communities alike.
Description: CREDIF is a non-administrative public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Women. It was created with the aim of actively contributing to the advancement of the status of women.
FEMMES ET LEADERSHIP:
Description: Femmes et Leadership is a non-profit civic association which was created after the January 14 Revolution. Its mission is to strengthen the role of women and their participation in public and professional life; to consolidate the role of women as innovators in civil society; and to coach women to strengthen their communication and negotiation skills.
Description: IACE is an independent international Think Tank committed to promoting business and improving the business environment by making recommendations and reform proposals with the support of business leaders, academics and other actors from civil society.
Description: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunis is an organisation supporting and assisting Tunisian companies in Greater Tunis (Tunis, Ariana, Ben Arous and Manouba)
Description: The CNFE brings women entrepreneurs from all sectors together in order to combine their energies and skills, break their isolation and allow them to contribute actively and effectively to the economic and social development of the country.
Description: The National Union of Tunisian Women is a non-governmental organisation fighting for the improvement of the status of women in Tunisia.
Description: The Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) programme empowers women-led organisations in Tunisia to operate WES centres as social enterprises. Through these centres, aspiring and established women entrepreneurs gain new skills and networks, launch and expand businesses, and develop as innovative leaders in their communities.
Description: The purpose of the council is to render top-quality services for enhancing the role played by businesswomen in the Abu Dhabi-based business sector.
Description: Building awareness, educating, promoting opportunities and enhancing positive change in the community towards the acceptance of women in business is at the heart of the DBWC’s belief in empowering women and motivating them to be productive members of society and economy.
Description: Established in 2002, Dubai SME was created as an integrated division of the Department of Economic Development (DED). It was developed as a resource for support, information and outreach for the growing small- and medium-sized enterprise sector.
Description: Dubai Women Establishment strives to help Emirati women balance stimulating careers with a satisfying family life through the endorsement of appropriate gender-equality policies and initiatives, providing life-long opportunities for training and work and promoting greater participation of women in the economic and political sphere.
Description: TheEBC strives to help women into leadership positions and place women leadership on the global map by 2021.
Description: The International Business Women's Group (IBWG) in Dubai actively supports Business Women in Dubai and the Northern Emirates by providing a Networking Forum for Professional Business Women in the UAE and a platform to provide opportunities for professional growth and development.
Description: The SBC's aim is to empower potential and existing professional women and businesswomen to establish and realise their ambitions in both traditional and non-traditional sectors in the UAE.
CENTRE FOR EMPIRICAL RESEARCH AND WOMEN'S STUDIES (Sanaa University)
Description: The aim of the women's studies program at the Sana'a' University is to improve the position of women in Yemeni society. In order to enhance research, track recent developments in the field and facilitate international communication, the Centre has developed a documentation centre, which is linked to similar documentation centres in other Arab countries (Egypt, Al-Bahrain, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia).
Description: ICCIABIN is a platform for all women entrepreneurs to interact with each other, exchange business information among themselves and share best practices. This portal provides businesswomen opportunities in terms of marketing their businesses, providing information on business, sharing success stories, acquiring know-how and best practices, also through interactions with counterparts worldwide.
WOMEN'S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ASSOCIATION
Description: WEEA's mission is to achieve economic and social empowerment for women, especially poor groups, by influencing developmental policies and providing women with more opportunities to participate in civil society.
WOMEN'S FORUM FOR RESEARCH AND TRAINING
Description: The Women's Forum for Research and Training (WFRT) is a human rights organisation for women in Yemen. It organises workshops for government officials, promotes human rights issues with other NGOs and arranges training for grassroots activists.
WOMEN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Description: The Women’s National Committee of Yemen is a government-affiliated body working to empower women. Local Yemenis work on the committee in co-ordination with national and international partners to safeguard women’s fundamental human rights. The Millennium Development Goals provide the framework guiding the committee’s main policy priority areas.
Description: The Yemeni Women's Union (YWU) is an NGO that promotes women's civil rights and empowers women in Yemen through education, training, counselling and a variety of other services.
YEMENI WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION
Description: The Yemeni Women Empowerment Foundation helps to increase the participation of women in social frameworks as well as in areas of political and economic development and in all aspects of society concerned by women’s rights, human rights and gender equality.