Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) Rings the Bell for Gender Equality and joins the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
On Tuesday, 8 March 2022, the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) hosted virtually through zoom the annual celebration of the international initiative ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’, in cooperation with the International Finance Organization (IFC), UN Women Jordan and the UN Global Compact Jordan, by ringing the bell to start the trading session. It was in the presence of Dr. Laith Al-Ajlouni, Chairman of the Jordan Securities Commission’s (JSC), Mrs. Raeda Al-Naber, JSC Board of Commissioners, Mr. Mazen Wathaifi, CEO of the ASE, Mrs. Sarah Tarawenh, CEO Jordan Depositary Center, Mrs. Aisha Mukhtar UN Women Deputy Representative, Mr. Abdullah Jafri, Director of the Levant Countries at the IFC, and Mr. Muhannad Al-Jarrah, Board member and representative of the UN Global Compact Jordan and a number of executives managers at the ASE and participants via virtual communication technology.
Mr. Mazen Wahaifi, the CEO of the ASE, said that the Amman Stock Exchange have been hosting the Ring the Bell since 2016 in a row, to enhance awareness and draw attention to the crucial role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The ASE taking part in this celebration along with other 112 stock exchanges and CCPs around the world that will ‘ring the bell’ to mark International Women's Day under this year’s theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” comes in light of the importance of the contribution and participation of women around the world, in leading the task of adapting, mitigating and responding to climate change, to build a more sustainable future for all.
Wathaifi added that the ASE joined The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) by signing a statement of support that are established by UN Global Compact and UN Women, comes within the framework of the stock exchange’s policy related to its commitment to the principles of sustainability and its absolute belief in empowering women, enhancing their position in society and involving them in decision-making processes, leadership positions in institutions, and creating equal opportunities for both genders. In addition to encouraging its members, listed companies, and all related parties to sign the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to stimulate women's participation in the global economy, promote sustainable development and empower women in the workplace, market and society. On behalf of UN Women, Deputy Representative, Ms. Aisha Mukhtar, thanked the Amman Stock Exchange for joining the Women’s Empowerment Principles global network, affirming the importance of their crucial role as a promoter of the Women’s Empowerment Principles through leading by example, and by encouraging the adoption of gender-responsive policies by the member and listed companies in alignment with the Seven Principles.
On behalf of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Director of the Levant Countries at the IFC, Mr. Abdullah Jefri, said, "The female labor force participation rate in the Middle East is considerably low compared to other regions of the world. This gap between the percentage of male and female labor force participation rates causes a loss estimated at 2.7 trillion dollars of GDP for Middle Eastern countries between 2015 - 2025. To alleviate this burden, the IFC is working to support efforts to bridge this gap, such as working on programs that increase opportunities for female entrepreneurs to obtain financing and working with private sector companies to provide an enabling environment for working parents. The IFC is also working on a research study in Jordan on Gender Diversity in corporate boards as a means to raise awareness of the benefits of women’s representation on corporate boards.
Muhannad Al Jarrah Board member and representative of the UN Global Compact Jordan also added “By integrating the gender lens into our youth Journey starting to begin from school and continue to the university we will make an impactful positive change in gender equality and social justice. Our gender integration programs in the private sector we will Definity make an impactful change."
It is worth mentioning that The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of 7 Principles established by UN Global Compact and UN Women in 2010 as a kind of guidance for companies on how to promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace, market, and society. More than 6,100 companies and institutions from 141 countries have joined WEPs by signing statements of support, 77 of these institutions and companies are Jordanian.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About UN Women
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. To learn more, please visit our website: https://jordan.unwomen.org/en or follow us on social media @unwomenjordan
The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) was established in March 1999 as a non-profit independent institution; authorized to function as a regulated market for trading securities in Jordan. On February 20th, 2017, the ASE has been registered as a public shareholding company completely owned by the government. The ASE Company is governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the General Assembly with a full-time chief executive officer oversees day-to-day responsibilities. The ASE Company aims to: operate, manage and develop the operations and activities of securities, commodities, and derivatives markets. The ASE Company seeks to provide a strong and secure environment to ensure the interaction of supply and demand forces for trading in securities in a proper and fair-trading practices. For more information visit our website: www.exchange.jo
About UNGC Jordan
The Global Compact Local Network in Jordan was launched in February 2007 by UNDP and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation together with representatives from the private sector with the aim to increase the role of the private sector and civil society organizations in collectively addressing issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility.