• Dr. Omran: women’s economic empowerment can add 10-37% to GDP
• Dr. Omran: The Egyptian Constitution guarantees equality between the sexes and we are keen to settle a culture of gender balance in the non-banking financial services sector
In a practical step towards deepening levels of sustainability in the non-banking financial services sector, enhancing the application of governance within the non-banking financial markets in Egypt, and taking into account the wider entry of Egyptian women into entrepreneurship, Dr. Mohammed Omran – FRA’s Chairman signed a memorandum of understanding with the AUC School of Business. The MOU aims at enhancing the participation of women on corporate boards through creating an information infrastructure that contributes to the preparation of training plans and programs to empower women and reduce the gender gap as one of the most important challenges for sustainable development locally and globally.
Dr. Omran emphasized that achieving gender balance and empowering women is one of the key elements for achieving sustainable development. He added that the World Bank announced in a report that women’s economic empowerment could add 10-37% to the country’s gross domestic product. In addition, he asserted that Capital market regulatory authorities can create more stable financial system, achieve sustainable development goals through good governance, embedding sustainability criteria upon taking investment decision and building capacity and expertise in the field of sustainable development.
Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman stated that under this agreement, FRA will join “Women on Boards Observatory” which was established by the American University in 2014. It includes in its membership the Egyptian Stock Exchange, the Central Bank of Egypt, the National Council for Women (NCW), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and several other entities interested in sustainable development.
This alliance was established for the quantitative monitoring of Egyptian female cadre who hold senior administrative and executive positions. In addition, it aims at forming a database of female cadres who are able to join corporate Boards, as well as checking the readiness of Egyptian women to lead administrative systems in the economic activity and finally publishing this data in an annual report.
FRA’s Chairman said that the most important feature of the signed cooperation agreement is the dynamic of continuous information exchange on gender-diverse boards – according to the type. He added that the agreement will provide the results of quantitative studies prepared by the Authority on the actual reality of women’s participation and their march towards corporate Boards operating in non-banking financial activities including listed companies at the Stock Exchange, insurance companies, mortgage finance, financial leasing, factoring companies and governmental insurance funds.
The agreement will also provide the “Women on Boards Observatory” with all the data on females who have acquired training programs on governance which will be held by the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD) affiliate of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). In addition, the “Women on Boards Observatory” will review all the results of the studies conducted by the Authority to monitor the most important provisions of women’s empowerment, namely training and preparation for leadership positions in the structure of corporate boards subjected to FRA’s supervision.
The agreement is an important one as it is considered as one of the most innovative mechanisms to achieve gender balance guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution, hence, FRA’s Chairman called for follow-up and periodic review of the agreement every three months to ensure that its provisions are in force.
FRA’s Chairman also welcomed the proposal to host students from the American University in several disciplines to obtain training in order to inject some vitality and innovation by young people. In addition, youth will gain experience within various departments inside FRA in a step to link the educational process with the labor market and to gain an experience in the regulatory field.