The climate change conference discusses women empowerment in the private sector and the role they play in achieving sustainability

During Gender Day Events

Dina Abdelfattah: The women empowerment process in Egypt sets a pioneering model.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton: Women represent 90% of small businesses, and supporting her participation in decision making is pivotal.

Harbeen Arora: 80% of CEO positions are taken over by men, and only 2% of the granted funds goes to women.

Roberto Suárez Santos: 70% of women in developing countries are unable to get any funding.

Franco Atassi: US companies run by women achieve 30% higher profit, compared to other companies.

Head of “Baseera” center: Women represent only 22% of the total workforce in Egypt.

Amira Saber: Women’s representation in the parliament is the highest in the parliament’s history.

November 15, 2022

The climate change conference “COP27” held a panel session headlined “Women empowerment in the private sector, and mitigating the negative impacts of the climate change.”, organized by the national council for women, on the sidelines of “Gender Day” in the COP27.

Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC) and “She Trades” Foundation, Franco Atassi, Head of Smart Infrastructure for Siemens in the Middle East, joined by Harbeen Arora, Founder of the Women Economic Forum (WEF) in India, and Dr. Magued Osman, CEO and Director of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), Amira Saber, member of the Egyptian Parliament, were all participant of this panel session run by Dina Abdelfattah, Founder and president of the exceedingly influential Top 50 Women Forum.

Dina Abdelfattah, Founder and president of the exceedingly influential Top 50 Women Forum, started by emphasizing the important role played by the private sector in facing the challenges of the climate change issues and in the areas of women empowerment, considering the private sector represents 80% of jobs worldwide.

She also clarified that the women empowerment process in Egypt sets a pioneering model, given that binding decisions have been issued by political leadership, which in turn enhanced the process of women empowerment in various sectors, which lead to the promotion of the women representation ratio in ministries, parliaments and other state sectors.

Additionally, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of “She Trades” Foundation has stressed the importance of supporting women participation in decision making, taking into consideration the high risks she faces in light of the climate change issues.

She continued, adding that women in developing countries face a lot of challenges in various fields, pointing out that women are at the center of the equation between presenting solutions or facing the consequences of the decisions already made.

She pointed out how the COP27 events are a testimony to the importance of adding sessions related to women and the private sector, considering that women represent 90% of small businesses.

In this regard, Harbeen Arora, the Founder Women Economic Forum, stated that woman is considered a key agent on cultures and nature-based activities. Hence, it is considered a top priority to focus on her issues on the top of all the agendas.

She added that women had been facing various challenges in several sectors, such as politics, as the presidential positions lacks justified female presentation. In economics, women only receive less than 2% of the granted fund, meanwhile men dominate 80% of the C-suit positions.

She added that the same inequality status remained in climate change, as women face discrimination and lack of trust in their roles.  Further, gender equality represents a major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Hence, we need to focus on capability building to accelerate achieving this goal, which should be kept as a priority in various sectors, such as poverty elimination, and climate action.

She also highlighted that the forum has been keenly exerting further efforts to achieve gender equality and preserving women’s rights.

On the other hand, Roberto Suárez Santos, IOE’s General Manager, discussed the importance of women’s role in IOE among 100 members from 140 countries.  He also referred to the progress achieved with regard to women empowerment driven by the efforts exerted over the last 100 years. He added that the organizations hadn’t been fully aware of the importance of harnessing women’s representation in their workforce.  Accordingly, no future success can be achieved.

He also stressed that gender equity in the workforce representation in several organizations is still far away to reach the targeted goal, as men are still dominating the workforce, compared to women. Thus, this necessitates taking women’s representation into consideration in the decision-making process.

With regard to the economies of the developing countries, almost 70% of women don’t receive sufficient finances.

Franco Atassi, the CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure in the Middle East, stated that women can be in leadership positions, as women hold leadership positions in 30% of the USA-based companies, which achieve profit rate 30% higher than the male -led companies.

He also stressed the importance of shifting the male – dominant culture, adding that the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments in the United Arab Emirates is up to 50%, stating that women’s various capabilities enable them to contribute in all sciences, such as climate change.

Dr. Magued Osman, the CEO of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research “Baseera”, highlighted that women’s representation in the workforce in in Egypt is up to 22%, referring to the importance of women’s economic empowerment and its impact on raising the growth rates, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable development.

He also affirmed that the education sector in Egypt has been witnessing a transition in favor of women, as studies show that women enjoy greater education opportunities, comparing to women.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s reports forecasted that gender equity in the workforce would lead to potential hike of 20%. Thus, climate change is a chance for women’s empowerment through creating new job opportunities for women in the future. Hence, women and girls must be qualified to hold climate-related positions in several sectors, including organic agriculture, electric transportation, and recycling. However, the social obstacles could be a barrier to achieving this. Yet, this status might change over time.

At the same context, Amira Saber, Egypt’s parliament member, stated that women’s parliamentary presentation recorded the highest rate ever. Further, a law was issued obliging the business owner to provide nursery care for the working women.

Speaking about climate change, women is considered the most vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, women can enjoy more employment opportunities in the future.