Project Basics

Find out more about EconoWin, a regional GIZ programme, improving the conditions for the economic integration of women in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Click below to jump to a topic:

Why the economic integration of women?

When a society’s talent pool is composed equally of men and women, why primarily employ the male half? While the MENA region has witnessed a closing of the gender gap in terms of education, the ever-growing pool of female talent pouring into the labour market remains untapped.

Photo by GIZ\Claudia Weins

The latest labour market data shows that average youth unemployment has remained stubbornly high at up to 30% in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Young women are disproportionately affected. Indeed, in many MENA countries, female youth unemployment rates exceed 40%.

The limited economic integration of women translates into huge economic loss. According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, equitable participation of both genders in the economy has the potential to add as much as USD 28 trillion, or 26%, to global GDP in 2025.

EconoWin’s Approach and Methods

“When women work, economies win”. Since 2010, the GIZ EconoWin programme, Economic Integration of Women in the MENA Region, has successfully improved the conditions for the economic participation of women in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Private sector, civil society and governmental partners thrive jointly in promoting the active participation of all men AND women.

2014 saw the commissioning of the programme, Employment Promotion of Young Women through Applied Gender Diversity Management in the MENA region. The programme is part of the BMZ Special Initiative MENA continuing EconoWin’s efforts with regard to Gender Diversity Management (GDM).

Unde the “label” EconoWin, the project has entered into partnerships with 20 companies and 4 business associations in the MENA region, together with 10 European/German companies as a means of professionalizing Gender Diversity Management to win, keep and promote female talent.


Challenges associated with the economic integration of women

To become more diversified and globally competitive, the Middle East and North Africa must successfully address the following challenges:

  • fundamental socio-cultural barriers restricting women’s role in society and the workplace,
  • gender bias and gender wage inequality,
  • women’s double burden consisting of household duties and professional commitments,
  • the majority of women working in the informal sector with low wages, limited prospect of an improved financial situation, and precarious employment status,
  • young female job seekers lacking relevant skills to facilitate their entry into the workforce,
  • limited access to vocational training or jobs in the formal, particularly private, sector or no access to financial services.

EconoWin is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).