(Cairo, 3 March 2015) Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative founding member The Egyptian Exchange held the first of a series of bell ringing ceremonies to raise awareness of gender equality initiatives and efforts world wide, signaling its commitment to equality and sustainability.
“I am honored to say that Egypt is the first country and up until now the first Arab country participating in the initiative. You are putting the principle of gender equality on the top of the agenda,” CEO of the exchange Dr. Mohammed Omran said at the opening bell ringing event. “The private sector plays an essential and pivotal role in supporting women’s economic empowerment all around the world.”
This series of events is organized by UN Women, the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, with support from local partners. These events bring together global business leaders, national government and United Nations officials to promote the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact that provides seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. In the run up to the 2015 WEPs Event, Unlimited Potential: Business Partners for Gender Equality (10-11 March) similar events will be held with SSE Partner Exchanges in Nigeria, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, India and New York.
Opening the Egyptian markets on 3 March, Dr. Omran was joined by Egypt’s Social Solidarity Minister H.E. Ms. Ghada Waly, President of the National Council for Women Ambassador Mervat Tallawy, and UN Women Regional Director Mr. Mohamad Naciri, among others.
“We have a growing interest to support and disseminate the principles and standards of social responsibility among Egyptian corporations,” Omran said, adding that gender justice is just as important as the other aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility.
He also said that the Exchange is determined “to continue to support the presence of Egyptian women and give them the opportunity to gain the status they deserve as an essential active partner the Egyptian society.” The Egyptian Exchange currently has woman filling 7% of leadership positions and 25% of the labor force but has set a goal to raise female employment to 50% of its workforce.
The SSE is co-organized by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP-FI and the PRI. The aim of the SSE, launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2009, is to promote the collaboration of stock exchanges with investors, regulators and companies in order to enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.