Working ahead for women in the Mediterranean: UfM at the UNIDO Conference on Women Economic Empowerment
Barcelona, 15 October, 2015. Delphine Borione, Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil affairs, participated in the Conference on Women Economic Empowerment in the MENA region, organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in the framework of the regional project “Promoting women empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA region” in Expo Milano 2015, Italy.
The objective of the event was to establish a policy dialogue, identify recommendations for policy makers and share good practices and business women’s experiences at the international level, in order to support the promotion of a large network of women engaged in contributing to sustainable and inclusive development in their countries.
It brought together representatives of governments, Women’s Business Associations, women entrepreneurs, international finance institutions, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the private sector. Borione shared round tables with Samira Merai Friaa, Minister of Women Affairs of Tunisia; Hussein El Hajj Hassan, Minister of Industry of Lebanon; Emma Bonino, former Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and founder of the international NGO “No Peace Without Justice”; and Carlo Calenda, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, among others.
The conference was an opportunity for women from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia as well as Europe to learn from their counterparts, hold B2B meetings to strengthen business contacts and exchange experiences and best practices in various aspects of women entrepreneurship.
Delphine Borione presented the UfM gender strategy and initiatives to foster women’s economic empowerment and highlighted that “it is the right time to harness the great potential of women entrepreneurs for an inclusive and sustainable growth in the Euro-Mediterranean region”. “By fostering women’s economic participation through entrepreneurship and access to labour markets the region will achieve its imperative need for inclusive growth and job creation as a means of reaching social and political stability”, she added.
On the margins of the Conference, UfM Deputy Secretary General Borione held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Women Affairs of Tunisia, Samira Merai Friaa, in the perspective of the next UfM Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, which is foreseen to take place in 2016 in Tunisia.
The UfM Secretariat has 10 projects focusing on women empowerment or integrating a strong gender component in more than 20 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region.