Women's economic empowerment


News: June 5-6 meetings of the OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum and Supporting Women as Economic Actors during the Transition Period

While MENA economies have made impressive progress in improving women's educational outcomes over the past decades, women’s labour force participation in the region remains among the lowest in the world at 26%, compared to 51% in OECD economies.

Policy makers increasingly recognise that gender equality is crucial to private sector development, job creation and economic growth. Accordingly, the MENA-OECD Investment Programme has initiated two pojects to develop innovative ways of supporting the integration of women in MENA economies.

OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum

The OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum (WBF) is an inter-regional network of government, private sector and civil society representatives, which promotes efforts to accelerate women’s entrepreneurship development in the MENA region. The WBF works with governments to improve policies and legislation impacting women’s economic integration. Through this dialogue, which also includes business groups and academia, the Forum facilitates an exchange of experiences and good practices, for providing concrete support to women entrepreneurs. Learn more    

>> Access WBF meeting documents                                                                                                                        

Supporting women as economic actors during the transition period

In light of the on-going social, political and economic changes taking place in the MENA region, the MENA‑OECD Investment Programme began a new project focused on supporting women as economic actors during this transition period. The project seeks to raise awareness of the economic benefits of recognising women’s potential as economic actors, in order to generate the political support needed to enhance women’s economic rights and participation in the project countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia).

 Participants at the OECD-MENA Womens' Business Forum meeting, 2 December 2013, Rabat, Morocco








Access our brochure 

‌Directory of initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs

2009 Action Plan on Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship and Employment   English | French | Arabic


2007 Declaration on Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship   English | French | Arabic

Women in Business - Policies to support women's entre-preneurship development in the MENA region‌ / in Arabic

 MENA Women in Business publication cover



For further information, contact Nicola Ehlermann-Cache.