The latest data from Egypt’s government statistics agency, CAMPAS, showsEgypt’s women are severely underemployed — 24.7% of the women in Egypt’s labour force are unemployed compared to the 9.6% of males.
As the country’s economy slowed, the number of jobs declined and the competition for jobs between men and women intensified.
Yet amid the on-going political standoff and struggling economy, mobilising female employment never emerged as a priority for Egypt’s government while the female workforce is recognised as a growing economic force.
“We’re at a tipping point of women’s engagement in the economy, as we move from advocacy of women to the smart business of real investment in women,” says Sallie Krawcheck, a former Bank of America executive and recent buyer of 85 Broads network, a women’s network founded by Goldman Sachs executives.
Over the next decade, about a billion women are expected to enter the global workforce, making their participation and engagement in the economy all the more significant.
But is Egypt ignoring a potential massive source of economic growth, as other options of financing and growth are running low?
According to a study by Booz Allen consulting firm, raising the level of female employment to male levels could boost Egypt’s GDP by as much as 34% percent.