Fostering Women's Economic Empowerment
Gender parity is not only a fundamental human right but also a fantastic economic opportunity for countries. With women in MENA countries increasingly well educated and skilled, their stronger participation in employment, entrepreneurship and public life could substantially increase growth.
MENA-OECD Women's Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF)
The MENA-OECD 2016 Ministerial Meeting in Tunis (English | French | عربي) called for better understanding the full range of challenges facing women in the region and identifying the right policy measures to empower them to fully contribute to MENA economies. The new regional MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF) will bring together MENA ministers and high-level OECD policy makers as well as representatives from business, academia and civil society to exchange experiences and advance concrete actions for policy reform.
H.E. Ms. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Co-operation of Egypt (left) and H.E. Ms. Marie-Claire Swärd Capra, Ambassador of Sweden to Algeria (right) are the co-chairs of the MENA-OECD WEEF.
The Forum will:
The launch of the new MENA-OECD WEEF will take place on October 8-9, 2017 in Cairo, Egypt. It will address critical issues such as: equal access to economic opportunities, challenges in implementing legal reforms, gendered data collection, and achieving Sustainable Development Goals and benefit from the input of reputed experts from other regional and international organisations.
(a detailed agenda of the launch will be available soon)
The Forum will open with the release of the new OECD publication Women’s Economic Empowerment in Selected MENA Countries: The Impact of Legal Frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. This report examines how current legal provisions in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia are impacting women’s ability to fully participate in economic life, both as employees and entrepreneurs. It is based on a comparative analysis of the various rights set out in constitutions, personal status laws, labour laws, in addition to tax and business laws. The report recognises the considerable progress made with the adoption of constitutional and institutional reforms to strengthen women’s status, and provides key recommendations to further advance gender equality.
Past achievements: The OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum (WBF)
The MENA-OECD WEEF ensures the continuation of the former OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum (WBF). Building on the 2007 Declaration on Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship (English | Français | عربي) and the 2009 Action Plan on Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship and Employment (English | عربي), the WBF grew to a network of about 700 participants from MENA and OECD countries governments, the private sector, academia and civil society. The WBF was committed to improving policies encouraging women's entrepreneurship, women's access to finance, exchanges of information and develop support for women's business development services. It facilitated networking for a large number of women entrepreneurs and provided role models to upcoming female entrepreneurs in the region. It collaborated with regional and international instances advocating for gender equality, including notably: the Center for Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), the League of Arab States, the Union of Arab Banks, the International Labour Organisatin (ILO), the Union for the Mediterranean, UN Women, and as well as national non-governmental organisations.
>> Read the main achievements and conclusions of key OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum meetings:
More OECD Resources