Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Union for the Mediterranean deciphers the economic participation of women in the Mena region

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, February 24th 2022 à 15:15 | Read 171 times

The UfM wants to raise awareness of women's rights (photo: ILO)
The UfM wants to raise awareness of women's rights (photo: ILO)
MEDITERRANEAN. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) will publish a report on women's economic participation in the Euro-Mediterranean region on Saturday 5 March 2022, three days before the UN-sponsored International Women's Rights Day (8 March).
With this document, the Barcelona-based institution intends to "continue to raise awareness of women's rights and provide policy recommendations to bridge the gender gap in the region", states its press release of Thursday 24 February 2022.

This first publication of the UfM's intergovernmental monitoring mechanism on gender equality, launched in October 2020, shows that Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have the lowest rate of women-owned start-ups, with 3.4% and 4.1% respectively, compared to the world average of 5.5%. The report attributes this to three factors: difficulties in accessing business networks and support, limited access to productive and financial resources, and lack of training opportunities.

In March 2017, the UfM stated that if women participated as much as men in public life and the labour market, the Mediterranean region would see its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) increase by 25%.

Women spend six times more time on unpaid than paid work

Between 2012 and 2020, the number of female board chairs doubled in Europe and the number of female CEOs tripled. These figures seem flattering, but they must be put into perspective. Indeed, less than 10% of these positions are held by a woman. In the Mena region, in 2019, only 4.8% of board members of the largest public companies were women.

Another indication is that employed women in the Mena region spend six times more time on unpaid domestic work than on paid work. Before the pandemic, they spent an average of 3.9 hours per day on these household activities (compared to 2.6 hours for men). By 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 epidemic and with the spread of teleworking, this figure had risen to 7.7 hours per day for employed women with children under 12 (compared to 4.5 hours for men).

In November 2021, UNIDO and the UfM participated in the creation of the first Mena Women Business Forum by the Business Club Africa (a network of 6,000 senior executives), which will help some 130 women in the region to create and develop their businesses.

Read also: Equality between women and men should be achieved in ....60 years  

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