Women’s Inclusion Toolkit launched to foster a gender inclusive private sector in the MENA region and beyond

Women’s Inclusion Toolkit launched to foster a gender inclusive
private sector in the MENA region and beyond

Developed under NAMA Women Advancement Establishment’s Irtiqa platform, the toolkit will enable businesses to take planned action in applying gender equality practices and women’s economic inclusion  

Sharjah, October 09, 2021

Continuing their longstanding efforts towards creating a more level playing field for women in economy, the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) has launched the Women’s Inclusion Toolkit, presenting the private sector in the UAE, MENA and beyond a set of strategicrecommendations that businesses across sectors can apply to take concerted actions to achieve concrete and sustainable women’s economic inclusionin line with the global Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). 

A key initiative under NAMA’s Irtiqa platform to advance women’s equality in the workplace in the Global South, starting with the MENA region, the Women’s Inclusion Toolkitwas launched virtually in collaboration with Dalberg Advisors recently at awebinar titled, ‘From Talk to Action: How the private sector wins when it advances women’.

A toolkit that will enable business entities to leverage the female workforce

NAMA is supporting businesses’ sustainability efforts with this action-oriented and practical toolkit, and emphasises that women need to befully supported as they chart their professional journeys. Through the introduction of thetoolkit, NAMAhas made a strong call-to-action to business leaders, CEOs, HRleadersand women’s rights advocates to turn the workplace into vibrant examples of inclusivity, diversity and equality.

NAMA’s toolkitis a comprehensive yet easy starting point to understand where a company lies in their journey to gender equality. With tailored recommendations optimised to fit within the MENA region’s specific contexts, case studies and additional resources required for businesses to continue making improvements, the toolkit will offer customised guidance as private sectors companies take their next steps towards addressing the most pressing workplace challenges women face, build on existing best practices and create action plans to accelerate an organisation’s journey towards gender equality.

Those who adopt the toolkitwill be offered deeper support from NAMA’s Irtiqa team to ensure it is consistently applied.

At the launch ceremony, Her Excellency Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA,emphasised that a workplace full of women does not determine equality. “If you look closely, you will notice the gaps and pick apart the injustice women face during their work for most of them are hired into junior positions. These gaps not only limit the growth of individuals, but are also responsible for stunting the advancement of entire institutions”.

“That is why we are here today, to launch ‘Irtiqa Women’s Inclusion Toolkit’, which is a small step into creating a greater platform that fully integrates women, and in the long run, shall contribute to an increase in sustainable growth and economic prosperity in the global south”, she added.

The toolkit is poised to create lasting change with company leadershipspledging their commitment to the success of women’s inclusion, especially in the context of post-pandemic recovery during which the toolkit will assist senior management create a framework within which their male and female employees will be equal partners.Also, the toolkit’s framework based onfact-finding would go a long way in producing real-time data and research on both common and unique gaps that prevent private companies in the Global South achieve inclusion and gender equality, particularly enabling those that are not actively tracking or accumulating this critical data,to resolve the issue.

In the first phase of the toolkit’s rollout, NAMA will collaborate with large private firms and business associations in the UAE, working closely with them to identify the right course of action, provide the right recommendations apply gender equality practices customised to their needs, and finally, help them maintain regularchecksthrough assessing their tangible progress in the journey towards closing the gender gap at the workplace.

Drawing successful examples and practical experiences of the UAE-based businesses in applying the ‘Women’s Inclusion Toolkit’ to their workplace, NAMA will mobilise its adoption and uptake in more nations across the MENA region and beyond. 

For more information, please visit https://www.namawomen.ae/irtiqa/

The October 5 webinar ‘From Talk to Action’,hosted by NAMA, was led by a panel of experts including Julia Newton-Howes, CEO of Investing in Women – an Australian Government initiative to promote workplace gender equality; LaudyLadho, CEO, Companies Creating Change – C3, and Advisor of pro-diversity organisation, 30% Club MENA; and NohaHefni, an award-winning humanitarian and UN Women’s Senior Consultant heading Strategic Partnerships for the GCC. The session was moderated by Dayoung Lee, Associate Partner at Dalberg Advisors.

What is the Irtiqa platform?

NAMA launched Irtiqa as a platform to bring businesses in the Global South together to apply gender mainstreaming practices and enhance uptake of the global Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Irtiqa aims to do so by: (i) providing technical assistance to aid the roll-out of new and improved inclusive business practices and (ii) bringing people and organizations together to advance women’s inclusion. Specifically, Irtiqa has seven core pillars which expand on WEPs:

1. Deploy effective policies to foster gender equality;

2. Advocate women’s greater inclusion in leadership;

3. Promote greater inclusion of women-owned businesses in supply chains;

4. Enhance women’s access to finance and productive assets;

5. Promote education, training, and capacity-building initiatives for women and girls;

6. Ensure regular measurement and transparency on progress and challenges towards gender inclusive workplaces; and

7. Build gender inclusive societies.

As a starting point for Irtiqa’s efforts, the platform is focusing on building momentum close to home in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the Women’s Inclusion Toolkit.


Attached images:

1) An image reflecting workplace inclusion

2) During the Women’s Inclusion Toolkit launch webinar

3) During ReemBinKaram’s keynote at the launch webinar

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