“Ring bell for gender equality”

07-03-2015 07:40 PM

Mary Fikry

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in collaboration with the UN Global Compact and the Egyptian Exchange, launched the global campaign “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” in sustainable development and businesses by ringing the opening bell of the Egypt Exchange.

The event took place in the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March and the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, in order to increase awareness about the importance of gender equality in sustainable development and businesses. The event also took place simultaneously in six other countries: India, Nigeria, Turkey, Poland, Sweden and New York in collaboration with UN Women and UN Global Compact.

The opening session was attended by Ms Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity; Ms Mervat Tallawy, President of the National Council for Women; Mr Mohamed Naciri, UN Women Regional Directorate; Dr Muhammad Omran, Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange, and a number of leading Egyptian companies in the application of gender equality.

The event, which aimed at raising awareness on the importance of promoting gender equality in the private sector, encouraged business leaders from around the world to sign and commit to the Women Empowerment Principles. It also shed light on leading companies which have already taken concrete steps to empower women in the work place and community. To date, 854 business leaders from around the world have committed to the Women Empowerment Principles. In Egypt, only six companies have committed to that.

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Focusing on the role of women in the financial non‐banking sector, Dr Omran said that the Egyptian Exchange has a clear interest in empowering women to play leading roles in the Egyptian capital market system. Egyptian women, he said, account for 7 per cent of the leadership positions and 25 per cent of the staff of the Egyptian Exchange. In brokerage firms, he said, more than 20 per cent of the brokers are women.
“I am honoured to say,” Dr Omran told the attendants, “that Egypt is the first Arab country to participate in this initiative. You are putting the principle of gender equality on the top of the agenda; the private sector plays an essential and pivotal role in supporting women’s economic empowerment all around the world. You could act as a leading entity to change the wage gap, ensure equality in the workplace and support women as leaders in the business sector”.

The Egyptian Exchange acts as an active partner in the UN initiative for sustainable stock exchanges that have been launched in 2012, where the Egyptian Exchange was one of five stock exchanges who founded the initiative (and these are: Egyptian Exchange, the Nasdaq Stock Exchange Market, and the Bovespa Stock Exchange in Brazil, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa, and Istanbul Stock Exchange in Turkey. Lately, the Egyptian Exchange was chosen as a model of reference for communication of stock markets with the acting parties in the market. The United Nations Commission appreciated the efforts of the Egyptian Exchange in the field of sustainability and effective communication with the parties of the market.

Watani International
7 March 2015

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