#EBRDmore: doing more for Gender Equality and Economic Inclusion

By Barbara Rambousek

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#EBRDmore: Investing 7bn in inclusive and gender projects to date – and doing more going forward

Promoting access to skills and quality vocational training, the creation of a Sector Skills Council bringing together private sector and education authorities in Jordan, and supporting women into jobs from Egypt to Kazakhstan - these are just three examples of the EBRD’s successful work in promoting gender equality and economic inclusion.

Last year alone, we supported more than 50 projects addressing gender equality as well as youth or regional inclusion gaps, bringing the total to over 200 projects. About 60 percent of these projects focus specifically on enhancing gender equality, while the others also enhance access to jobs, skills and services for youth, populations in less developed regions, refugees or other groups.

And there is more to come. #EBRDmore.

The EBRD is stepping up its investments and engagements across the region, including ongoing work in the care economy and projects targeting barriers to economic inclusion for people with disabilities.

This includes bespoke financial products -- ranging from long-term equity investments to specific microfinance solutions -- as well as policy dialogue to create the strong institutions needed for successful long-term growth.

And we are closely aligning our activities with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals such as goal 5 for gender equality and goal 10 for reducing inequalities with a focus on economic inclusion, where the EBRD is a pioneer in its regions.

Only economies that benefit their people are successful economies. The EBRD is making a vital contribution to this effort, and here’s how.

  • One of our major policy dialogue achievements for 2018 occurred in Kazakhstan where, as in many Central Asian countries, current labour laws still contain a list of jobs women cannot hold. As a result, the Minister for Labour and Social Protection signed a legislative order in 2018 to reduce the list by 96, opening up new and well-paid employment opportunities to women.
  • In Turkey, we launched a policy dialogue programme to improve training and skills standards in labour intense sectors such as manufacturing and agribusiness.
  • The EBRD is working with the power and energy firms TREDAS and TREPAS in Turkey to improve women’s economic opportunities through an ambitious Equal Opportunities programme. In addition to a review of HR practices, an extensive outreach programme, including training for over 800 staff and actions to improve work-life balance, the number of women employed in technical roles rose an impressive 21 percent.

The EBRD is and will remain a relevant partner: financially strong, agile in our operations and flexible in our approach.

In the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) countries where we operate, we continue to address the challenges of economies as they seek to build inclusive economies with employment opportunities for all. The EBRD remains available with its own finance and expertise to support, encourage and enable the private sector to improve economic opportunities for women, young people and rural populations.

  • The EBRD is working with the El Sewedy Technical Academy in Egypt, a technical vocational secondary school, to expand their offer of quality, accredited training for young people. The El Sewedy Group, founders of the Academy, have committed to increasing student numbers from 200 to over 500 per year.
  • The Bank is supporting the Abdali Mall Company training centre at the newly- built mall in Jordan, with training provision linked to the expected needs of companies in the centre. Since its launch in 2017, more than 350 young people have been trained, including 120 Syrian refugees.
  • Safe access to transport can be a barrier to economic opportunity for women in Egypt. The EBRD is working with the Egyptian National Railways to improve infrastructure, accessibility and safety for all passengers on the railways.
  • In Jordan, the EBRD has supported the creation of a Sector Skills Council which brings together private sector employers with various entities supporting skills development and employment in the country. The platform will enable public and private sector actors to design occupation skills’ standards in the property and tourism Sector.
  • 2019 will see the scaling up of our work on women in the green energy sector, a newly launched approach that promotes women’s employment and training in a traditionally male-dominated sector in Egypt.

The EBRD has the means, the expertise and the commitment to move forward in all our existing regions. And our donors play a major role in our delivery, both with advice and with finance.

We are as diverse as our countries and as committed as its people: we are doing more to achieve more. #EBRDMore for more growth, more jobs, more prosperity.

Barbara Rambousek is Director of the Gender and Economic Inclusion team and as such oversees the Bank’s work on creating inclusive economies with equal access to economic opportunity.

 
 
 
 

 

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