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MENA BWN announces development initiatives

By JT - May 22,2016 - Last updated at May 22,2016

AMMAN — Members of the Middle East and North Africa Businesswomen’s Network (MENA BWN) announced several developmental initiatives on Saturday, seeking to empower women and increase their contribution to the economy.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of the MENA BWN Board of Directors’ first meeting that was held in Amman, the network said the initiatives will include setting up an integrated financial support programme for businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in Arab countries through partnerships with regional financial entities.

The network, representing 11 Arab countries, will launch a second programme specialising in learning by mentoring, the statement said. This will focus on teaching and consultation in a variety of vocational sectors to ensure expertise exchange between women working in the same field, and to provide for discussions on ways to overcome legislative and social challenges. 

Another programme will support start-ups through using marketing tools and consultations in different fields including packing, quality, distribution and expansion. This support, which will be available through the network’s interactive website, is expected to be launched soon.

The MEN BWN will also launch a  programme that will focus on strengthening and activating women’s presence in decision-making centres, with an emphasis on the private sector in which the Network, according to  Jordanian businesswoman Reem Badran, the president of MENA BWN.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of the network’s meetings, Badran said the level of women’s involvement in the Arab economy is still "low" and below aspirations. 

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Arab women’s economic participation does not exceed 28 per cent. 

The MENA BWN has been able to connect with regional and international economic and investment corporations to introduce its mission and to further strengthen Arab women’s participation in leading international economic podiums and forums, Badran indicated. 

The next meeting of the MENA BWN  will convene in Ajman, the UAE, in November, on the sidelines of the Gulf Businesswomen Forum.

At the meeting, the network's members discussed several issues aimed at enabling Arab businesswomen and strengthening their presence in decision-making centres in both the public and private sectors.

 

During their visit to Jordan, the network’s board members met with several business officials, including Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Maha Ali.

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