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IFC, DSE, UN push for greater leadership role of women

18pc company board directors are women, says 2020 IFC-DSE study

March 15, 2022 00:00:00

IFC has partnered with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact for the seventh consecutive year to 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality,' marking the International Women's Day, reports BSS.

While emphasising women's role in shaping a more equal future, the annual event highlights how greater participation of women in the economy can spur sustainable and inclusive growth.

The event came as new figures showed there was an increase in the percentage of women who are independent directors on listed companies from five per cent in 2020 to six per cent, despite the impact of Covid-19, which has disproportionately affected women.

A 2020 IFC-DSE study showed at the time around 18 per cent of listed company board directors were women, that has remained the same. In terms of women on boards of listed companies, Bangladesh still tops the South Asia region, said a press release.

Speaking at the event, Nathalie Chuard, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh said, "As a committed and longstanding bilateral partner, Switzerland gives particular importance to gender equality and social inclusion in all of its engagements in Bangladesh."

Tarique Amin Bhuiyan, Managing Director of DSE, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) said the Dhaka Stock Exchange remained fully committed to closing the gender gap and promoting women's role in leadership, particularly in listed companies.

Meanwhile, in a new joint report on, "How Exchanges Can Advance Gender Equality: Updated Guidance and Best Practice," the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and IFC identify three broad areas where exchanges can play a role in advancing gender equality.

These include the promotion of gender-focused and gender-aware products and services, strengthening of market performance on gender equality and leading by example.

"Investing in women's economic empowerment is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do as it sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth," said Gitanjali Singh, Head of Office, UN Women Bangladesh.

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