Since May 2020, HANDS USA, together with its local partners CEOSS (Egypt), Kawthar (Tunisia) and Ennakhil Association (Morocco), have been implementing a regional pilot project entitled “Activating the Private Sector for Women’s Economic Rights in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia (Middle East and North Africa)”, sponsored by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). This pilot project aims to structure a multi-sector dialogue, and to provide a space to highlight the positive results and strategies of the role of the private sector in improving economic equality for women, through the development or introduction of some internal policies and procedures that support the economic empowerment of women, and through training and dialogue with civil society, government and policy makers. CEOSS together with HANDS and its implementing partners in the Middle East and North Africa region believe that if we implement activities at the regional and national levels we will raise awareness of the importance of gender equality for the success of businesses and economies, and then we will highlight and share strategies already implemented, expand networks which are supported by the private sector, the Civil society, and the government, and support long-term change and direct efforts, in order to improve economic rights and increase women’s participation in the economy of the Middle East and North Africa region.
At the end of the current stage, the regional conference was implemented with HANDS and its implementing partners in the Middle East region from 19 to 23 February 2023 in Marrakech – Morocco, and it aimed to discuss the results and lessons learned by the partners, exchange experiences from the private sector, analyze the general environment about gender equality, and examine next steps to sustain and enhance efforts.
A number of representatives of large, medium and small companies in the private sector participated from Egypt, in addition to representatives of the civil society organizations, and of government sector from the following ministries: manpower, planning and economic development, culture.