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"Giving more power to women influences economic development"



           

As part of the Emerging Valley summit, Femise and Institut de la Méditerranée highlighted several initiatives to strengthen the place of women in the economies of the Mediterranean basin. Version française



"Giving more power to women influences economic development"

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Patricia Augier and Layla Al-Qasim during the worshop organized by Femise and Institut de la Méditerranée during Emerging Valley (photo : F.Dubessy)
Patricia Augier and Layla Al-Qasim during the worshop organized by Femise and Institut de la Méditerranée during Emerging Valley (photo : F.Dubessy)
While 75% of graduates are women, only 25% of them work or seek employment in the South and East of the Mediterranean basin. Patricia Augier notes that "this level of exclusion of women is not only incredible and the lowest of all regions, but it is also economically unsustainable." Especially since paid work and work outside the home is the main factor for women empowerment. "These countries are deprived of a well-trained workforce and human capital", said the president of the scientific committees of Femise and Institut de la Méditerranée (IM).

"We must act on several levels, at the macro level first but also on connecting young women with financial players and listening to the priorities of entrepreneurs", said Constantin Tsakas, secretary general of Femise, general manager of 'IM and originator of this “Change Makers” workshop. The latter was organized as part of Emerging Valley (Aix-en-Provence 4/5 December 2019), dedicated to strengthening the power of women and young people in the Mediterranean and Africa with the showcase of several initiatives.

In order to encourage Jordanian women to come and work in the hotel industry, Layla Al-Qasim (17 Asset Management) is developing free services in a five-star hotel in Amman (Landmark hotel Continental) such as the creation of a nursery, transport, lessons ... Lebanese entrepreneur A'Laa Chbaro wants to "restore ambition for women who have very good ideas but are afraid to get started." The director of the Mena branch of the international association Impact the world which supports social entrepreneurship.

"Help each other and disseminate success stories"

Constantin Tsakas interviews Samah Ben Dhia (photo : F.Dubessy)
Constantin Tsakas interviews Samah Ben Dhia (photo : F.Dubessy)
According to Karine Moukkadem, a young Lebanese researcher attached to Femise studying the inclusiveness and empowerment of women through social entrepreneurship, "we must help each other and disseminate success stories. Gender equality must be the priority." The researcher most notably contributed in 2019 to the youth strategy of the Union for the Mediterranean.
This is also the opinion of Samah Ben Dhia. "Society is made up of 50% men and 50% women, there is no reason not to find this parity in all strata ", comments the president of the association AltaFemina. She wants to "allow women to access leadership positions by advocating values ​​of diversity and solidarity."

President of the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (MYCN - Morocco), Hajar Khamlichi notes that "women lack self-confidence and are therefore not very credible with donors." To go beyond this obstacle, she calls for lobbying and networking, while offering technical assistance, in order to facilitate access to funding for their projects. A statement shared by Chiraz Karoui, a Tunisian lawyer who worked for the European Investment Bank (EIB), who highlights the need to give more visibility to financial tools for gender equality.
New technologies could also be a game changer, as seems to believe Ammar Nada, chairman of the advisory board at Sunbox, a group of entrepreneurs in Gaza. Ammar is passionate about how Machine Learning and Block Chain technologies could contribute to economic empowerment.

"Giving more power to women translates into better education and better health for children and especially girls. This influences economic development", notes Patricia Augier. “There are many examples of young people and women who lead, support and fund projects with a strong economic and social impact in the Mediterranean. These ChangeMakers support their communities, their businesses, their industries and create imitators ... they deserve all the support that we can offer them ", concludes Constantin Tsakas.


Frédéric Dubessy


Friday, December 20th 2019



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