Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women Research


The Centre for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women seeks to improve and support women's dignified work, successful careers and leadership roles in organizations across the region. We engage in rigorous research, host regional conferences, advance strategic partnerships, and nurture the next generation of leaders.

There is a growing body of data demonstrating that investing in women is not just a matter of equality, but is crucial to political stability and economic progress. Women in the MENA region are drastically underrepresented in the workplaces of the MENA region. Evidenced by the lowest female labor force participation rate in the world, many parts of the region have widespread exclusionary structural barriers precluding women's access to work and /or limiting women's experiences of dignified careers and of leadership roles. This low rate of participation, costs the region. The MENA region loses more business potential due to low female economic participation than any other region of the world. Currently the share of the region's GDP output generated by women is only 18%, compared to 40%+ in North America, China, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Efforts to narrow the economic gender gap can drastically increase regional GDP of both the resource poor and resource rich countries in the MENA. The ILO estimates that if we narrow the gender gap by just 25% - toward gender parity - then global GDP would increase by $55.3 trillion by 2025. However, progress is slow, with the World Bank estimating that at the current rate of progress, the MENA will reach gender parity in 157 years. More concerted efforts are needed to meet the challenges ahead and to support employers to build more strategic, dignified, and inclusive business systems and workplaces.

The Centre for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women was launched in 2019 to focus on readying gender-inclusive businesses and other employers across the region.

As the regional community recognizes the importance of elevating women's participation, the Centre for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women stands ready to provide essential analysis, expertise and leadership on this critical issue.

What we do

We are dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full economic potential by inspiring both women and men to become advocates, change makers and leaders in their community. We are committed to advancing inclusive workplaces and dignified work for women across all Arab MENA countries. The center also seeks to empower women through development programs and education, and to serve as a catalyst for policy change regarding women's economic empowerment in the region.

To achieve these objectives, CIBL.W carries out a portfolio of activities. These include research, capacity building, change mobilization and organizational policies.


  • Identifying barriers and facilitators to gender-inclusive workplaces
  • Creating business cases for gender-inclusive workplaces​

Capacity Building

  • Executive education & regional external programs
  • Developing leaders
  • Equipping HR managers and other decision makers
  • Gender sensitive training
  • Coaching and mentoring platforms
  • Behavioral change

Change mobilization through building partnerships & momentum 

  • Conferences
  • Social media outreach
  • Award ceremonies
  • Multi-sector partners
  • Networking
  • Perceptual change

Organizational policies and systems

  • Through recommending white papers, gender mainstreaming strategies & processes 
  • Change curriculum
  • Training objectives
  • Gender auditing toolkits
  • Advocacy manuals
  • Systemic change

Who we work with

  • Business partners in every MENA country
  • Employers across sectors and industries
  • Policy-makers
  • Gender ministries and women's machineries
  • Think tanks
  • Civil society and business associations
  • Media
  • Donor community​​

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