Press Release: UN Women Deputy Executive Director calls for increased financing for gender equality at Egypt’s global International Cooperation Forum

Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

For Immediate Release

Cairo - UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia highlighted the important role innovative financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda at Egypt’s global International Cooperation Forum. The event held 8th-9th September in Cairo brings together a mix of national and international high-level policymakers, multilateral and bilateral development partners, private sector, and think tanks.

“Despite significant growth in thematic investments and the UN’s renewed focus on Financing for Development following the 2015 Addis Ababa Agenda, globally, financing for gender equality and SDG5 remains woefully inadequate and significant work needs to be done to ensure that a post COVID-19 recovery is both sustainable and inclusive,” said Ms. Bhatia.

“UN Women believes that integral to realizing the SDGs are the use of innovative gender financing mechanisms such as sovereign Gender Bonds; and working with development partners and the private sector to establish and use a gender lens when investing. Through robust partnerships, we must influence capital direction and discourse to increase financing for gender equality.”

“In partnership with UN Women, Egypt is playing a key role in contributing to the dialogue on global standards to guide gender lens investing and in shaping the nature of innovative financing instruments. Egypt’s Green Bond, a landmark 2020 $750 million issuance, provides the nation and the region with valuable lessons learned and opportunities which could inform the country’s future innovative financing on women’s empowerment,” Ms. Bhatia added.

Moderated by Eleni Giokos, Anchor and Correspondent for CNN, the Panel included interventions by Khaled Sherif, Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery at the African Development Bank (AfD); Thomas Östros, Vice President at the European Investment Bank (EIB); Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Abdulhakim Elwaer, Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Hany Sonbol, CEO at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation from the Islamic Development Bank Group.

The International Cooperation Forum was also attended by UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States, Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen and UN Women Egypt Country Representative, Christine Arab, speaking on the regional and country trends and successes of women entrepreneurs as essential drivers of national economic growth in the Arab States region and in Egypt specifically.

Organized by the Government of Egypt in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations (UN), the International Cooperation Forum aims to underscore the significance of multilateralism with emphasis on country ownership for "building back better” in transition economies and developing countries, with a special focus on Africa.

Read in Arabic.