We CAN and we DID.
A joint programme with the title ‘Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work for Women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine’ was launched on Thursday with the efforts of Maya Morsi, Chairperson of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), along with high-profile representatives from Jordan and Palestine.
Supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN Women, the program targets women and helps get them “better jobs, security at workplaces, equal access to professional development, social protection for families and better prospects for personal development and social integration”.
The meeting in which the programme was announced was attended by representatives of said organizations, as well as their employers and workers. There, officials from ILO and UN Women presented key findings of the inception phase which aimed at validating the programme’s approach and customize services to each of the three countries involved.
“The programme represents a strong convergence of ILO and UN Women’s mandates by ensuring decent work principles are embedded into a framework for women’s economic empowerment. ILO’s Conventions represent not only commitment to gender equality in the world of work, but practical benchmarks and guidance on how to achieve this, whether it is legal protection, fair remuneration, parental leave, safety and health, childcare, or protection against violence and harassment at work,” Deputy Regional Director of ILO for Arab States Frank Hagemann said.
At least 87 new companies are committed to implementing gender equality policies in the Middle East and North Africa region through the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and with the implementation of this programme, at least twelve reforms to the regulatory or legal framework will respond to and promote gender equality, as well as help 2-5% increase of women in managerial positions in the public and private sectors. The programme also expects a 10% improvement in gender parity in staffing in the private sectors, specifically.
“Sweden’s investment in this programme comes from our strong commitment to achieve gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights and drives from our Swedish foreign policy to strengthen the economic empowerment of women and girls and their influence through the promotion of non-discriminatory legislation,” Head of Regional Development Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa at the Swedish Embassy in Amman Peter Lundberg said.