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IFC Helps Boost Workplace Gender Diversity in Iraq
September 29, 2020
Baghdad, Iraq, September 29, 2020—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with two key business associations in Iraq - Baghdad’s Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and Erbil’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI) - to help the country’s private sector create family-friendly workplaces that can attract, retain, and promote more women employees.
Women in Iraq are disproportionately affected by job losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, worsening their economic prospects. The female labor force participation rate in Iraq in 2019 stood at just 12 percent, one of the lowest rates in the world.
Under the initiative, the IFC-led Peer Learning Platform initiative and its activities, will train key staff at BCC and ECCI member companies in a series of webinars to help support their employees with family-friendly policies and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The sessions will include knowledge-sharing among participants, lessons from international experts, and successful case studies to encourage the hiring and retention of women and boost their representation on corporate boards.
Firas Rasul Jaafar, Chairman of the BCC, stressed the importance of enhancing opportunities for women and promoting gender diversity in the workplace in Iraq. “This is what helps create a productive and equal atmosphere and our partnership with IFC will contribute significantly to reducing the gender gap in the sector.”
“We place gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace at the top of strategic areas of our work at the Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” said Dr. Dara Khayyat, President of the Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Our partnership with IFC will help reduce the gender gap and scale up women’s roles and contribution to the growth of the Iraqi economy.”
IFC will hold a virtual competition at the end of the initiative, to ensure companies trained have retained the information and showcase their commitments to implement gender parity at their organization levels.
“IFC focuses on supporting Iraq’s private sector in recovering from the current economic crisis and rebuilding more agile and resilient businesses and workforces,” said Bilal Sugheyer, IFC’s country head in Iraq. “Creating safe, family-friendly and flexible workplaces that allow companies to maximize the contributions and productivity of the country’s workforce - especially those of women - is a critical driver of building resilience in Iraq’s business sector.”
The project is part of the Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF), a World Bank-IFC initiative in partnership with the governments of Canada and Norway, which aims to strengthen the enabling environment for relevant stakeholders to effectively identify and address constraints to women’s economic participation; and improve women’s access to economic opportunities. The implementing partner in Iraq is the Directorate for the Empowerment of Iraqi Women at the Council of Ministers. The Ministry of Planning and the Directorate for the Empowerment of Iraqi Women at the Council of Ministers represent Iraq on the MGF Steering Committee, and the High Council for Women’s Affairs (HCWA) of the Kurdistan Regional Government is also represented.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Mashreq Gender Facility:
The Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF) is a 5-year Facility (2019-2024) that provides technical assistance to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to enhance women’s economic empowerment and opportunities as a catalyst towards more inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful societies, where economic growth benefits all. Working with the private sector, civil society organizations and development partners, the MGF supports government-led efforts, country level priorities and strategic regional activities that strengthen the enabling environment for women’s economic participation and improve women’s access to economic opportunities. The MGF is a World Bank - IFC initiative in collaboration with the governments of Canada and Norway. It is mainly supported by the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE) with contributions from the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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[size=36]Arab States join historic gathering to reiterate their commitment to women’s empowerment[/size]
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
As the Beijing Platform for Action turns 25, the UN General Assembly hosts a high-level meeting to accelerate implementation efforts for advancing women’s rights
30 September 2020, Cairo - The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), which remains the most visionary and comprehensive roadmap for advancing women´s rights globally. This year also marks a five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the reaffirmation of gender equality as a pre-condition to achieving sustainable development for all by 2030.
To mark this significant milestone, global leaders, including 17 government representatives from the Arab States, will gather on October 1st, within the framework of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 75), the largest annual intergovernmental meeting, to present concrete actions and commitments to accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030, including in support of the role of civil society organizations and youth.
Government representatives including Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and heads of women’s machineries from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are expected to join the high-level event. The list of speakers can be found here.
The high-level meeting represents the culmination of a comprehensive national, regional and global review process that started in 2019 and spanned for over a year. In the Arab States, the regional review process culminated in the Arab States High-Level Conference on the Beijing+25 Review hosted in Amman, Jordan, which reviewed the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the region and adopted the “Arab Declaration on Progress in the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action after 25 years.”
Under the overall theme of “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, the High-Level Meeting will feature statements from, among others, the President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Executive Directors of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and of UNFPA, Natalia Kanem, three women’s rights leaders, an eminent high-level champion of gender equality, a representative from civil society and a young woman leader, followed by interventions by Member States.
The high-level meeting will take place within the framework of the Generation Equality campaign and Forum, originally scheduled to be held in Mexico City and in Paris in 2020, and now postponed to next year and adapted to respond to the current context.
Join the conversation: Follow @UN_PGA, @UN_Women and @unwomenarabic on Twitter and share your messages using the hashtag #GenerationEquality and #Beijing25.
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