Dear Sisters & Brothers,
It is indeed a great pleasure and honor to celebrate the International Women's Day, globally observed on 8th March every year in recognition of women's political, social, and economic achievements.
At the Islamic Development Bank Group, we, not only recognize women's achievements, but also show solidarity by acknowledging that women have a pivotal role in development of countries and societies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on all people's lives, especially women, in every corner of the globe.
Women are more likely to suffer a lay-off or be driven to consider leaving their jobs due to the increased household and childcare responsibilities.
This challenge poses a great threat, reversing the significant gains realized over the past years.
That is why the IsDB Group has made significant progress in mainstreaming women empowerment and development into all of its operations.
The IsDB Group has been strongly committed to giving targeted support to address the specific needs of women under the Bank's Strategic Preparedness Response Program (SPRP) to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 in our Member Countries.
Moreover, the IsDB Group is further advancing its ability to address women's needs in Member Countries by finalizing the operational strategy together with the five-year action plan.
As part of IsDB Group's continuing support for women's advancement in the bank, I am pleased to announce that our upcoming efforts will ensure that the institution provides an inclusive and conducive working environment for women.
Under this year's theme #choosetochallenge, I am initiating a Call to Action to undertake simple yet impactful efforts to ensure that women receive fair and equitable status and support.
As a starting point, we will review flexible scheduling and remote work policies, introduce a dedicated program to advance women in professional positions, and establish a leadership initiative to support increasing women's representation in managerial positions.
I conclude by highlighting that women's empowerment MUST be a primary responsibility at individual and corporate levels.
I call upon all of you to join me today and make the IsDB Group a strong advocate of women's advancement.