The integration of women into economic life would boost growth in the MENA region by nearly $ 600 billion (1,728 million dinars) annually, said Minister of Investment, Development and International Co-operation Zied Laâdhari.
Speaking on Monday, at the meeting of the steering committee of the MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme, Laâdhari added that the integration of women into the labour market is still low, despite the progress made in the region, in terms of education, i.e. a participation of less than 30% compared to men, whose participation in the economy stands at more than 77%.
According to statistics provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), women are the least paid and their participation in the labour market is recorded much more in the informal sector and in vulnerable activities.
On average, the unemployment rate for women is 18%, of which 41% for young women, compared to an unemployment rate of 8% for men.
The MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme (2016-2020), chaired by Tunisia, responds to the MENA economies' call for a more competitive business environment.
Thus, this programme aims to create economic opportunities, by integrating more women and young people into the economy.
For Laadhari, there is still work to be done to improve the role of women in creating wealth and boosting growth.
For his part, Mr. Carlos CONDE, Head of Middle East and Africa Division, Global Relations Secretariat, OECD said the most advanced economies are those of countries that are more supportive of women's access to work and entrepreneurship, highlighting the empowerment of women, which is an essential condition for creating a more favorable economic climate and prosperous and competitive societies.
Actions were undertaken in the framework of the committee during the years 2016-2018, to analyze the situation of women in the region and to improve statistics in order to better understand the constraints and difficulties encountered by women as well as opportunities to strengthen their role in the economy, he said.
Participants in the steering committee meeting evaluate the work done during the last two years and approve the actions to be implemented in 2019.
Tunisia hosts the OECD's 2018 Women's Economic Empowerment Forum in the MENA Region on November 13 and 14, 2018, in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Family, Child and the Elderly.
© Tap 2019