Kristie Wang

Competition Launch: Women Powering Work in MENA

General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers has launched an online competition in search of innovative solutions that will advance economic opportunities for women in Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality is calling for initiatives that enable women to achieve economic equality, strengthen their families and communities, and benefit equitably from economic growth.

Three prizes, each totalling US $25,000 in unrestricted funding, will be awarded to the winning entries.

“The Women Powering Work competition extends our efforts in support of economic empowerment of women,” said Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “GE is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work, and we recognize that enabling women to participate fully in the economy, and to grow their talents and careers, leads to exponential benefits for societies and development.”

Today, in many MENA countries, more women attend university than men. However, there is a disproportionate number of women that participate in the workforce—half the rate of the global average. An economically equivalent economy allows for and encourages both men and women to excel in their livelihoods. Equal access to quality jobs, skills training, and capital, as well as addressing limitations on mobility and discrimination in the workplace, are potential pathways for achieving economic equality.

The Women Powering Work competition is seeking solutions that address barriers to economic equality, including initiatives that help end gender discrimination, increase access to capital and technology, or enable gender-responsive advocacy for women’s rights. The deadline for entering is Nov. 6, 2013.

“Partnering with GE to launch Women Powering Work is a milestone for Ashoka Changemakers,” said Ashoka Arab World Director, Iman Bibars. “We envision this competition activating a vast network of social innovators that are working to help women to achieve equal access to economic opportunities.”

Participants in the online competition have the opportunity to engage with the Changemakers community, which includes social entrepreneurs from around the world, impact partners, sector experts, and potential investors. Additional information about entering the competition, plus guidelines and assessment criteria, can be found at

Are an innovator giving women across MENA access to economic opportunities? Then enter the Ashoka Changemakers Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA competition. Visit the Guidelines, Criteria & Prizes page before the Nov. 6 competition deadline for more information about how to enter or to nominate an individual, organization, or partnership that is solving this critical challenge. And follow the #womenWork hashtag on Twitter to see more about the topic.

business development