The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has adopted the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which was launched in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact to affirm support for achieving gender equality and empowering women in workplaces.
With this step, the FRA becomes the first regulatory body to sign this Declaration after being endorsed by more than 2,600 companies and bodies worldwide.
Mohamed Omran, Chairperson of the FRA, called on all unions and entities operating in the non-banking financial sector to adopt the WEPs Declaration.
The Declaration presents seven principles, including creating an institutional approach to achieving gender equality, treating all women and men equally at work, and support human rights and non-discrimination.
The principles also include ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all working women and men, promoting education, providing training and professional development for women, adopting practices that support women’s empowerment, promoting equality through community initiatives and encouraging enrollment, and working to measure and report progress in achieving gender equality openly.
Omran said that WEPs represent a journey of evolution from a social perspective that stakeholders are taking to help them not only invest in their commitment to gender equality, but also invest in their businesses, with the support of UN Women where the promotion of gender equality is important. This would improve corporate performance, attract investment, enhance innovation capacity, attract and retain talent, diversify the base of suppliers, and meet consumer needs and demands.
He added that the authority joining the WEPs would contribute to receiving international recognition for the efforts made to promote gender equality and empower women in Egyptian workplaces. The authority and its leaders are committed to implementing more work and providing more support in this field, bearing in mind that gender equality is not a women’s issue but an economic issue.
The step to join the declaration supports the results revealed in the annual report issued by the World Bank for the year 2022, which is concerned with measuring the development of procedures and legislation related to empowering women, and studying laws and regulations covering the entire life cycle of working women in 190 countries. This includes the continued improvement in Egypt’s ranking in the indicators of the report, which reflects the successive government actions to support the issues of women’s empowerment at the economic, social and political levels.
Omran added that an action plan is being developed to identify the priority actions that the authority should take to stimulate gender equality and women’s empowerment, which UN Women can support more. These actions include providing technical support to diversify the supply chain for business needs to incorporate more women-owned businesses, raise awareness and training among managers to address gender bias in workplaces, develop leadership skills to enable female employees to take up senior positions, and raise awareness among both male and female employees on positive parenting and shared caregiving responsibilities, as well as providing technical advice on policy development related to responsible work, childcare leave, equal pay, and the prevention of sexual harassment.
Omran noted that women represent 33% of the workforce in the FRA. They occupy 35% of the senior administrative positions, ranging from the rank of general managers to sector heads. They also occupy 32% of the specialists’ positions, which represents the largest base of the work force in the authority, in addition to the fact that the percentage of women in new contracts has reached 52%.