EGX Celebrates Gender Equality virtually

Wednesday, 10 March 2021


In celebration of the Gender Equality week initiative this year, The Egyptian Exchange (EGX), in collaboration with the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), UN Women, UN Global Compact Egypt, and the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIOD), organized a virtual Ringing the Bells for Gender Equality ceremony themed “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”.  This is an annual event aiming to celebrate Women worldwide and encourage the private sector to provide economic opportunities for women.

Dr. Mohamed Farid, Executive Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange, Dr. Nevin El-Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, the Ambassador of Sweden to Cairo, Mr. Rami Abul Naga, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Dr. Shirin Al-Sharqawi, Deputy Minister of Finance, Ms. Lamis Najm, Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), and representatives of all international institutions interested in supporting and empowering women, participated in the event.  In addition to women leaders of listed companies who shared their success story and their experiences in supporting women’s empowerment.

Dr. Mohamed Farid, Executive Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), said that this celebration reflects EGX’s commitment to move forward with all possible measures to promote women’s economic empowerment as well as seeking to close the gender gap, unlocking the potentials of Egyptian women to play their role in supporting the goals of the Egyptian economic and social development plans.

He stressed on EGX’s continuous commitment, in coordination with development partners, to support all efforts aiming at empowering women and strengthening their role, especially listed companies in EGX.  He pointed out that all international institutions acclaim that women’s fair representation on boards contributes to the improvement of companies’ performance on the financial and administrative level.

Nandini Sukumar, CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), said ‘’Covid-19 and 2020 strengthened market infrastructure’s role and mandate to society and the wider ecosystem we serve. As the guardians of public markets, WFE members have always believed in an inclusive, equitable, fair, and transparent society where finance and our industry play a role as a force for good. Publicly demonstrating our support for women in the workplace is part of our industry’s commitment to empowering and enabling their success.’’

Worth mentioning that, as part of the industry’s efforts to empower women in the workplace and celebrate the benefits of a diverse workforce, the World Federation of Exchanges 2021 Women Leaders initiative shines the spotlight on the exceptional leaders in the industry who excel and inspire, including from the EGX. Selected from every corner of the world and across every size of market, all of the 2021 cohort are united in making regulated public markets a force for inclusive and sustainable growth. EGX is proud to take part in this as Mrs Hebatallah ElSerafi, Assistant Chairman for Disclosure & Disclosure Sector Supervisor, EGX, was selected as one of the 21 excelling women figures worldwide.

Dr. Nevin Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, said that she believes in the strength and resilience of women in all fields.  She added that Egyptian women are key players in the development plans, nation-building and community participation, stressing that the Ministry of Solidarity is focused on providing all needed support for women’s empowerment to achieve maximum social justice.

Dr. Kabbaj added “Egyptian women represent 75% of the beneficiaries of “Takaful & Karama program””, explaining that in 2002, the first center was established to combat trafficking of human beings, especially women, as well as to support women’s health through partnering with different NGOs providing support and protection to Egyptian women across the board, to enhance their capacity to play their role in managing their family.

Maya Morsi, president of the National Council for Women, said that the equal representation of women in society supports the Egyptian government efforts to achieve comprehensive economic and social development.  She added that EGX’s celebration of the International Women’s Day reinforces and supports the Egyptian government’s efforts to support and empower women and work to close the gender gap.

Rami Abulnaga, Sub governor Market Sector, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), said that the CBE is constantly supporting women’s empowerment by providing opportunities enabling more contribution to support the Egyptian economy’s growth.

Dr. Shirin AlSharqawi, Deputy Minister of Finance for Economic Affairs, said the Egyptian government is continuously strengthening the role of women and their economic empowerment while working to close the gender gap by taking all necessary measures and policies to achieve this goal.

Beatrice Maser, Director of the Middle East & North Africa Region, IFC, said that Gender equality is essential for sustainable private sector development.” Adding “The need to recognize the excellence women bring to the table is now more important than ever. Supporting women’s leadership, family-friendly policies, and digital infrastructure that encourages flexible work for women will support business growth, equal access to opportunities, and improved quality of life not just for women, but for everyone.”

Christine Arab, Country Representative UN Women, said Egypt’s resilience in the face of COVID-19 has been and will continue to be linked to its intensified investment in women’s social and economic empowerment. In the language of “return on investment”, the trickle-down effect of women’s greater economic engagement and leadership is immense. Recent pre-COVID estimates indicate that the world as a whole could increase its global GDP by US$5.3 trillion by 2025 if it closed the gender gaps in economic participation by 25%.  And yet according to studies done, including those by the World Economic Forum, if the world keeps at its current pace, it will be 118 years before women have the same career prospects as men. Women’s greater access to decent work in private sector – and private sector’s greater investment in family friendly policies – is essential for Egypt’s continued economic growth.”

Walaa ElHusseiny, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, said “We are working in coordination with all relevant parties to enhance the role and position of women in various fields as this plays an important role in supporting strong and sustainable economic growth rates.”

Ringing bells in 2021 marks the 7th year for EGX to participate in this event, reflecting the fundamental activities EGX is taking part in along with its international peers to promote greater gender diversity in leadership positions.