According to a recent McKinsey report, if women were employed at the same rate as men across the MENA region, women would contribute $2.7 trillion to the regional GDP by 2025, bolstering the overall GDP by 47 percent. This one report adds to a growing body of evidence that illuminates the critical need for female participation in the labor force, which is especially true for developing nations.
The COVID-19 crisis only exacerbated existing barriers for women in the workforce, and further underscored the need to prioritize women in order to create a healthy, inclusive economy. Although the MENA region faces enormous economic, social, and political challenges, increasing female employment is a vital, and often overlooked, opportunity to ease economic pressures. MEII is committed to gender equality and financial inclusion for women across the region and works to target those who have been marginalized from traditional access to finance.
MEII has worked to incentivize banks to lend to women-owned businesses by lowering guarantee fees, and in some cases increased its credit guarantee coverage. Female entrepreneurs are considered a priority in technical assistance programs to build and develop the skills necessary to own and operate a business. MEII is focused on elevating the quality of life for women across the region by helping them tap into the resources available to better provide for themselves and their family.