June 1, 2022
Translated by Eman Ismail
Women of Egypt (WoEgypt), a major supporter of women empowerment, has launched a digital campaign, “Flexible Working is the Future”, the first of its kind in Egypt, to support and promote the concept of flexible and remote working. The campaign aims to raise awareness of business owners and companies about the importance of applying both concepts to empower women and to offer them equal work opportunities. The campaign will also highlight the benefits for business owners and companies when applying such concepts, to motivate them to provide work opportunities to women. Such opportunities will enable women to prove their efficiency, and to advance in their careers without employment gaps due to any personal reasons.
Remote working and flexible working hours benefit business owners, companies, as well as their employees; men and women. However, “Flexible Working is the Future” campaign focuses on women employment, to support Egyptian women who face major obstacles in the labor market.
“The aim of this campaign is to raise public awareness to support working women and to respect their social roles and responsibilities, instead of compelling them to quit their jobs, or put obstacles in their path. It is worth mentioning that WoEgypt team work from different cities in Egypt and abroad. Perhaps, this is the best proof for the credibility of remote and flexible working. As an Egyptian woman, remote working has been the best option for me to balance between my work as a content creator and my academic studies,” says Radwa Hosny, Campaign Coordinator.
Remote working, also known as work-from-home, or flexible working, offers employees the freedom to work from anywhere outside the company’s offices. While, flexible working allows employees to work at the times that suits them, provided they work their daily or weekly required hours.
Despite the fact that working remotely is known as work-from-home, the aim of this campaign is not a call for women to go back to their homes, to hinder their success. But if they choose to work from home, it will be to sustain their careers without interruptions due to any personal reasons such as pregnancy or child care.
Although women constitute 50% of the population, and despite that 54% of university graduates are women, yet the percentage of unemployment among young women is higher than that of young men. According to World Bank statistics of 2020, women in Egypt accounted for only 21.2% of the total work force compared to 67.3% men.
Egyptian women suffer inequality in the labor market and are faced with many obstacles in the work place. They carry the heaviest load and continue to suffer from the challenge of balancing both work and family. In addition, they encounter many other factors that waste their capabilities, delay their promotions or advancment in their positions.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of women lost their jobs. Thousands of them were put on unpaid or sick leaves to care for their children after schools closed, despite the fact that most could have resumed their work from home, had the remote working options been available.
“The benefits of remote working became obvious since the pandemic, despite it was not a novelty for many multinational companies worldwide. Remote working has many advantages for both employees and the employers. It sustains productivity, and helps employees to balance between their professional and personal lives. Moreover, remote working provides employers with financial benefits, as it reduces the high cost of operating the companies,” Radwa adds.
The campaign will run on various social media platforms until June 15th, 2022. It will present the challenges facing working women and business owners to carry out their work responsibilities; highlights the benefits of flexible and remote working for both employers and employees; and will also try to eliminate the fear that business owners have regarding remote and flexible working.
In addition, the campaign will highlight ways of improving the businesses through introducing remote-working and flexible-hours work systems; and the benefits that women, business owners, society and the environment will gain by using them. Furthermore, the campaign will talk with experts who developing systems and programs that facilitate remote working, as well as conduct interviews with employees and business owners who already use such systems.
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