Fostering Women's Economic Empowerment
The WEEF brought together high-level MENA and OECD policy makers and representatives from business, academia and civil society for an interactive and action-oriented discussion around the central themes of good practices on legal reform and enforcement, gender sensitive data gathering, gender mainstreaming across policy areas, and financial inclusion.
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.
All countries of the MENA region have committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which represent important opportunities for the region to accelerate action on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
About the MENA-OECD Women's Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF)
The MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme has been working for over a decade to advance women’s economic empowerment in the region. In 2009, it created the OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum (WBF), which grew to become a network of over 700 participants from MENA and OECD governments, international and regional organisations, the private sector, academia and civil society. Building on the WBF, a new MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF) was launched in 2017 in Cairo under the aegis of its co-chairs, H.E. Dr Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Co-operation and Investment of Egypt and H.E. Marie-Claire Swärd Capra, Ambassador of Sweden to Algeria.
The WEEF has the following main objectives:
- Provide a regional network for government and non-government representatives from OECD and MENA economies to foster discussions on challenges and opportunities related to women’s economic empowerment in the MENA region.
- Monitor countries’ policy actions and regulatory developments, taking account of policy recommendations and standards to advance equality, non-discrimination and women’s economic and social inclusion.
- Identify strategic data collection needs to assess women's economic empowerment and provide support for strategic gender data development and collection.
- Building on the MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme, ensure gender mainstreaming in critical policy areas such as investment, trade, employment, skills, entrepreneurship or support to conflict affected economies.
The WEEF works in close collaboration with international and regional organisations advocating for gender equality such as UN agencies, the League of Arab States, CAWTAR, the Union of Arab Banks, and the Union for the Mediterranean.
- Read more about the launch event
- Read the WEEF brochure: English | French | عربي
- Access the MENA-OECD Directory of Initiatives Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment
Related OECD Resources
- March on Gender: The Impact of Legal Frameworks on Women’s Economic Empowerment around the World, 7 March 2018, Paris, France
- Launch of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum, 7-8 October, Cairo, Egypt,
- Women's Business Forum Meeting 2014: Tools supporting women's economic empowerment, 6 June 2014, Paris, France
- Women's Business Forum 2013 on nurturing entrepreneurship and improving women's access to services and financing (English | عربي)
Publications & documents
- Women's Economic Empowerment in Selected MENA Countries: The Impact of Legal Frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia (2017) (English | Français | عربي)
- Women in Business 2014: Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Middle-East and North Africa (English | Français | عربي)
- Women in Business 2012: Policies to Support Women's Entrepreneurship Development in the MENA Region
- "Empowering Women-led SMEs: Economic Development and the New Arab World", Draft issues paper, 2012
- "Women’s Access to Finance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region", Draft issue paper, 2011
For further information, please contact: MEA.WEEF@oecd.org