The United Nations Women’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (EWSCWA) has called on Arab countries to create a “cultural capital” for their women.
“There is a need for women’s leadership in the region, particularly in the Arab world, to be more prominent in the governance of the region and to foster the growth of women’s economies,” it said in a report on Monday.
The commission’s report, entitled Women in the World, is due to be released in March.
The report recommends that Arab countries establish and fund an Arab-led female investment bank, “to serve as an incubator for women to invest in their countries”.
The report also calls for a greater role for women in “women-led enterprises and institutions”, which include “businesswomen, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs”.
The commission, which is part of the UN’s Development Programme, was set up to work towards a women’s economic empowerment agenda.
The Arab Development Fund (ADF), a United Nations organisation, has been promoting the idea of a women-led economy.
The ADF has recently called for women-dominated economies to be developed and promoted in the regions.
In February, the ADF said Arab countries should be the “world’s leading investment destination for women”.
The ADB said in the report that “there is a global opportunity to create the conditions for a strong and successful Arab-Islamic economy”.
The Arab Economic Association (AEA), a regional economic organisation, said in its report that it had “strongly endorsed” the report’s recommendations.
The AEA, a regional body representing more than 1,000 countries, is the organisation that promotes Arab-Muslim countries’ participation in international organisations.
It said that Arab states should “invest in the development of women-run economies and institutions, including by developing their own development agencies and financial institutions”.
In December, the UAE announced plans to set up a fund to promote female entrepreneurs.
The UAE, a Gulf Arab country, is currently the largest investor in the ADB.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Kingdom are also major investors in the organisation.
In March, the Saudi government said that it would spend $5.2bn to develop women’s entrepreneurship in the kingdom.