Online Regional Conference: March 2-5, 2021

HANDS, together with local implementing partners on this project, CEOSS from Egypt, CAWTAR from Tunisia and Ennakhil from Morocco, hosted a series of interactive and thought-provoking online sessions. The program invited leaders and gender equality champions from the private sector, government, and civil society to discuss the latest trends and opportunities, successful strategies, and ways to partner to address challenges to women’s economic equality in the region. The conference attendees were carefully selected and invited to not only dialogue with other leaders and distinguished speakers, but also to participate in the process of defining the regional conceptual framework that will serve to help guide the future efforts in this arena. The framework will be tested in the three implementing countries, resulting in the final document of best practices and recommendations that will be published with the funding from the donor agency. To view the agenda and the list of speakers, please click here.

Here are some highlights what the leaders in academia, the private sector, government, and civil society in the region shared about the private sector taking the lead in this area during the conference.

What Regional Conference Participants Are Saying:

I enjoyed learning about specific steps experts recommended for particular sectors to take to work towards gender parity. I also thought it was critical that many speakers mentioned statistics that demonstrate the need for gender equality in the workplace (e.g. the global GDP would increase by $28 trillion by 2025 with gender equality in the workplace).”

I heard about concrete experiences – women’s successes, examples of policies implemented by companies “champions of diversity”, examples of public policies and tripartite partnerships, etc.”

It was good to hear personal experiences about procedures and mechanisms followed by Egyptian institutions to ensure equality between the sexes.”

“I enjoyed hearing the experiences of other Arab countries participating in the conference, especially the experience of Morocco.”

National Activities in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia

In each participating country, local partners are implementing activities aiming to further engage local private sector companies and gender equality champions from government and civil society through a series of informative workshops and steps to increase equal economic participation of women.

In Tunisia, our local partner CAWTAR organized the first part of a series of training workshops in June 2021, which was expanded upon and completed through a three-day online program in October 2021. The virtual training forum engaged Tunisian entrepreneurs and participants from the private sector from companies just starting out, as well as more established ones.

Similarly, our Moroccan partner Ennakhil Association conducted an initial workshop with 50% of the participants in-person in July that served as a test-run for the main part of the training, which will take place from February 9-11, 2022, online. Here is the video summary of their first workshop:

Our Egyptian partner, CEOSS held their first national level workshop from January 30-February 1, 2022.

In all national level workshops, participant heard about inclusive gender policy frameworks, strategies and tools; they examined successful models of gender equitable workplace policies and practices applied by other companies, local, regional and international. Participants used especially developed self-assessment tools to analyze and identify gender-related gaps in their own companies. Based on what they discovered during the workshop, participants will be creating action plans to address gender equality in their workplaces. In the subsequent workshop sessions, they will continue to share their experience with implementing these plans.