U.S. Government and UN Women to build women-friendly workplaces

By UN Women

Today, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a program to advance safe, secure, and women-friendly workplaces in the agribusiness sector in Egypt.

Dr. Miwa Kato, UN Women Country Director, noted the positive potential for businesses when they align their employment policies with gender equality principles, stating that “Empowering women increases the chances for businesses to receive outside investment.” According to Dr. Kato, “When we promote safe and secure workplaces, marketplaces, and communities, all members of society benefit.”

The women's employment promotion project will increase awareness about gender equality and women's empowerment principles by supporting six agribusiness firms in Upper Egypt as they reposition themselves as models in gender-balanced workplace policies and inclusive work environments. These businesses will address sexual harassment, promote equal job opportunities and equal wage for work of equal value, and provide incentives for employees' retention. The project will be implemented in close coordination with the National Council for Women (NCW), the Women Business Development Center.

According to Dr. William Patterson, USAID Economic Growth Officer, “Workplaces become stronger because of the inclusion of women. They increase their market strength because of increased employee retention satisfaction, and productivity. Investing in gender equality and women's empowerment helps businesses become more prosperous and competitive.”

The event presented several case studies on advancing gender equality and corporate sustainability, the UN Women-Global Compact Initiative on women's empowerment principles, and gender sensitive value chain analysis.

The Women's Employment Promotion is a pilot project implemented by UN Women and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. It is designed to advance safe and women-friendly workplaces within the agribusiness sector in Egypt. The project targets six agribusiness firms to assist them to reposition themselves as models in gender-balanced workplace policies, attitudes, and inclusive work environments. This two-year project is one component of the American people's investment in Egypt's economy and the people of Egypt.