Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri speaks at the Mashreq Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment, Jan. 19, 2019 (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)
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Women's economic empowerment is an essential part of all nations' development and must be a focus for the Arab economic summit, the World Bank's vice president for MENA said Saturday.According to statistics shown during the conference, women's participation in the three countries' labor markets is poor: 23 percent of Lebanese women are employed, compared with 19 percent in Iraq and 14 percent in Jordan.Also speaking at the event was Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who noted that issues of women's empowerment are among the items on the agenda for Sunday's summit. Although the men's speeches seemed to dominate the morning conference, a number of women also held the microphone, including Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuelle Lamoureux and the COO of the International Finance Corporation, who decried regional laws that she says actively prevent women's participation in the labor market.
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