Changing Laws and Breaking Barriers for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

image of Changing Laws and Breaking Barriers for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

At a moment when many countries of the MENA region are looking to accelerate economic growth and build more stable, open societies, this report argues that greater women’s economic empowerment holds one of the keys. It asserts that despite challenges some countries are facing in guaranteeing women equal access to economic opportunity, progress is underway and can be further nurtured through targeted, inclusive and coordinated policy actions. Building on the conclusions of a first monitoring report released in 2017, the report analyses recent legislative, policy and institutional reforms in support of women’s economic empowerment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia and seeks to identify success factors that have helped anchor reform. Moreover, it delivers actionable examples and practical tools for policy makers to help them transform policies into effective actions for women’s economic empowerment.

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Decent work for the most vulnerable

Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development calls on countries to “leave no one behind” and to target support towards the most vulnerable groups in society. In the MENA region and worldwide, there has been a shift from addressing the situation of women overall to targeting different groups of women, recognising that women are a heterogeneous group. This is a positive evolution since vulnerable groups of women may require targeted approaches and specific legal reform efforts. This chapter outlines recent reforms and initiatives in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia to improve the protection and economic empowerment of vulnerable groups of women, in particular domestic workers, rural women and refugee women. The chapter features in-depth case studies from Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as several boxes that highlight relevant initiatives. The chapter concludes with some policy recommendations drawn from the lessons from the case studies and research.

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