UfM International Women's Day 2021: Women in Leadership towards an equal region in a COVID19 world

25 Mar 2021

#IWD2021   #InternationalWomensDay   #UfM4Women

  • Data gathering on gender equality in leadership in the Euro-Mediterranean region remains a challenge. This year, the first exercise of the UfM’s Intergovernmental Monitoring Mechanism on Gender Equality will be launched to bridge this gap.
  • Achieving gender equality for the current generation of working-age women in MENA could add as much as USD 3.1 trillion to regional wealth, according to the World Bank.
  • The UfM hosted a virtual conference on the 5th of March to analyse gendered barriers to leadership, present the EU’s Gender Action Plan in External Action 2021-2025 and showcase UfM-supported projects and initiatives in the region.

The pandemic is taking a great toll on our society, our lives and our economy. The UN estimates that women in the Arab World will lose approximately 700,000 jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Women’s involvement in the business sector is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Some challenges identified are insufficient business management knowledge, the need for additional training and the lack of equity as well as unfavorable conditions for applying for and obtaining bank loans and credit.

To measure and report the progress made on women’s rights as well as to provide policy recommendations, the UfM is launching this year the first exercise of Intergovernmental Monitoring Mechanism on Gender Equality. The UfM Member States unanimously endorsed 20 gender indicators, including 3 on women’s access to leadership and decision-making. 

The  5 March, a UfM webinar brought together a variety of experts and female leaders from across sectors, who analysed the gendered barriers to leadership. The UfM-supported project CEED GROW: Growing and Scaling Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, implemented in Morocco and Tunisia, shared field experiences to help women overcome the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to relaunch the growth of their businesses.