A group of women in agribusiness in Egypt are about to see improvements as IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and Daltex, an agribusiness producer in Egypt signs a Memorandum of Understanding to increase economic opportunities for women employees and smallholder farmers in the company.
According to the agreement, IFC is expected to work with Daltex, in identifying and securing commercially viable, sustainable solutions to increase the share and retention of women workers in select Daltex-owned farms and packaging facilities, and women farmers and smallholders in its value chain.
The CEO of Daltex, Hesham El Naggar, has said that “The aim is to generate employment and income streams for these women by integrating them in Daltex operations. Including women and men throughout our operations allows us to tap into a much wider and more diverse pool of resources, whether in terms of our employees, farmers or even business partners that we do business with. This is part of our broader business strategy to grow production, reach new markets and create opportunities for our communities.”
Women in Egypt, constitute over 13 percent of permanent full-time workers and about 18 percent of business owners.
Only five percent of Egypt’s firms are led by a female executive and they earn on average about 22 percent less than their male counterparts.
Bridging this gender gaps might result into an increase in Egypt’s gross domestic product by over 30 percent.
According to IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Sérgio Pimenta, he said “Creating economic opportunities for women in key sectors such as agribusiness is one of IFC’s strategic focus areas,”
“Investing in women is not only essential for economic growth, but it’s also good for the economy. Companies that attract and retain female employees have a wider and better talent pool.”
Therefore, this deal stands as IFC’s commitment to promoting gender equality in Egypt and is anchored in a strong business case and in client demand for gender-smart solutions, which has significantly grown over the past several years.
IFC investee companies in the Middle East and North Africa have generated more than 120,000 jobs for women over the past decade. IFC is also investing in banks for on-lending to women-owned SMEs through its Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility.