NAMA pledges support to connect 3,500 women and youth in MENA to job opportunities

NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, NAMA, has announced it support to Education For Employment, EFE, efforts tp to train 3,500 Jordanian, Palestinian and Egyptian youth – 50 percent of them young women – and link them to job opportunities.

This came as part of a partnership signed between the two sides at the Education For Employment Summit held recently in Dubai.

This partnership with NAMA will help provide the necessary core support to EFE affiliates in Jordan, Palestine and Egypt to fulfil their goals in providing EFE’s high-quality Job Placement Training Programme to youth in their countries. The support will catalyse EFE’s continued growth in the MENA region, connecting thousands of youth to employment opportunities each year.

NAMA’s active role in advancing women’s participation in the economy is enhanced with this new partnership with Education For Employment, and is in line with one of NAMA’s most important initiatives to ensure a more women-inclusive economy – the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit, WEEGS.

The programme will strengthen EFE’s ability to source and provide job placements and economic opportunities for young women, and will result in visibility for the Global Women’s Inclusion Initiative, which was launched as a NAMA – EFE partnership in 2016.

Among the 3,500 youth targeted by three types of EFE programming, namely, the Job Training and Placement Programme, the Pathways to a Job Programme, and the Entrepreneurship Programme, EFE-Jordan, EFE-Palestine and EFE-Egypt will target at least 50 percent young women.

Commenting on the partnership, Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said, "We at NAMA understand the UAE’s role as a critical hub in creating social impact around the issue of women’s empowerment. Since 2016, when H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA and wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, was elected the first Honourary Patron for EFE’s Global Women’s Inclusion, we have been walking shoulder to shoulder to fulfil the EFE Network’s ambition to reach 55,000 young women across the region by 2020 through their job training and placement, employability, and entrepreneurship programmes."

To fuel these ambitions, she noted, NAMA has entered into this new agreement with EFE, "under which we will pledge our full support to catalysing a new set of specialised training programmes in Jordan, Egypt and Palestine."

In turn, Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Senior Vice President of EFE-Global, stated, "EFE believes that when youth in MENA have the right skills and potential, they can create a brighter future for the region. Women are a crucial component in this transformation. When women are empowered with skills and economic opportunities, they thrive as individuals and uplift their families and communities."

The partnership was signed against the backdrop of an intensifying youth unemployment problem in the MENA region. According to the International Labour Organisation 2018 report, the Northern Africa, Arab States and Southern Asia region faces the most acute women’s economic inclusion issues globally. This has led to an increased gap between men and women’s labor force participation rates, that has gone beyond 50 percent.

This is nearly double the global average. The women’s workforce participation rates, which are as low as 18.9 percent for Arab States and 21.9 percent in Northern Africa, in the said report, are exacerbated by occupational segregation, employment vulnerability and dismal pay gaps faced by women those who are employed.

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